Rose Petals and Ashes
A man decides to end his relationship with his mother. She has been dead for thirty years. That’s how we begin the story of Rose Petals and Ashes. It gets funnier. And then gets serious. And funny again, and so forth.
As the story goes along, I sing songs like The Piano Tuner With The Lazy Eye, The Day We Stole Steve Martin, and Cockfight In Tickfaw, songs that propel the story and give a clearer view to how events from past generations can affect people years later. It’s comical, sad, heartfelt, and all true. The show won the Encore Producer’s Award at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Pretty cool, huh?
It’s been a wonderful ride so far and I hope you will be able to join me in an upcoming performance sometime soon.
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Reviews and responses have been great! Here are some now!
The songs, some personal, some allegorical, all come together to paint a picture of a man coming to terms with his life. I don’t want to give away too much content here, but by the end of the show Bill manages to make the audience part of his family, spoon feeding us in music and lyric the stuff that makes a man what he is. – Folkworks Magazine
A tremendously moving show, disguised as an evening of comic songs. the burdens of childhood, how one moves forward with an emotionally absent parent, the struggle to assemble the broken pieces through art; all this plus the sensibility of the great music/comics: Stan Freberg, Dave Frishberg, Tom Lehrer, The transparent, soul-baring book mixed in with the elegantly-crafted and laugh-out-loud music create an evening that provides everything you’d want in an evening of theater, pared down to its essence. Immediate and long-lasting Standing Ovation the night I went. Impossible to recommend this strongly enough. – Better Lemons
As an actor, Berry is naturally open and vulnerable. As a musician, he flies. At this performance, the audience was so acutely tuned to his energy I don’t even think they realized they were singing softly along with him on “Two Crows,” a haunting song about the wisdom of age. That kind of organic connection is something that cannot be manufactured and I found it to be incredibly powerful. It helps that he knows how to write a song with a hook that stays with you even after you’ve left the theater. – Broadway World
The metamorphosis that takes place on this cathartic musical journey is a rich one and it is beautifully directed by Kelly DeSarla. What could become a dark descent into hell instead shimmers with a light touch making the show’s poignant message all the more powerful in its subtlety. Berry never overplays his hand but holds firm in the truthfulness of his narrative. Feet firmly planted in the sand like a kid, armed with six strings and his soul, he is an inherently likable human being and one helluva writer. Bonus – the guy knows how to tell a good joke. – Musicals in LA
Berry comes across as one of the rarest forms of performers in these times of ours – the balladeer. Whether singing of a youthful escapade to steal a store display of Steve Martin or of finding himself as a teenager infected with a bad case of the crabs, the songs he sings are melodic morality lessons. Not to be missed – a PLATINUM MEDAL. – The TVolution.com
Bill Berry is a delight on the guitar. His songs are a mix of campy fun and folksy tunes; a troubadour for the blue-collar worker.
Rose Petals and Ashes is ultimately a story of hope and redemption, about how death doesn’t have to be the end of our memory of a family member or loved one. For that, I commend its beauty. – Edmonton Journal