NYC-based contemporary dance company The Chase Brock Experience has set its first performance following a two-year hiatus with Big Shot, a dance narrative playing a six-performance limited engagement Off-Broadway at Theatre Row December 9–12. The new work, inspired by Brock's real-life family history, will be directed and choreographed by Brock and company member Travante S. Baker.
The dance narrative follows a drive-in restaurant inspired by Brock's of Hendersonville—which Brock's family operated in North Carolina from 1949 to 1972—through three generations and two different families and their struggle to achieve the American Dream. The choreography will be set to a brand-new score of 1960s-inspired pop songs from famed jingle composer Paul Libman, with lyrics by Gary Apple, Rob Berliner, Jack Lechner, Mary Liz McNamara, Mark Pierce, and Libman.
"I grew up hearing endless stories about how Brock’s—which ended its 25-year run a decade before I was born—was the place to be in my hometown in the late '60s, my dad’s high school years," shares Brock. "The family dramas those memories hinted at always felt theatrical to me, and given the jukebox spinning hits right at the center of Brock’s, it was inevitable that my version of this drama would dance. What came later—and I’m so grateful it did—was the realization that the piece would be stronger and more interesting if we didn’t look just at my family, but perhaps imagined two different families, striving side by side, in contrast to one another."
"What interested me the most about the piece was developing these complex relationships between family, friends, and lovers; coupled with the circumstances of the time period," adds Baker. "That’s really juicy to me. Attempting an authentic telling of one Black experience within such a tumultuous zeitgeist sounded really exciting, especially now, when I think people are becoming more open to relearning and rethinking what they know."
Prior to the Theatre Row performances, the work will have its world premiere at North Carolina's The Wilson Center, which commissioned and developed the piece, November 11. Shiloh Goodin, Grant Howard, Erin Moore, and Reed Tankersley will serve as understudies for the two world-premiere performances.
The production will also feature scenic design by Dane Laffrey, costume design by Laffrey and Brock, and lighting design by Brian Tovar.
For tickets and more information, visit TheatreRow.org.