‘Heart of Brick’ Review: Finding Love in Black Gay Clubs


“My vibe is cozy, comfortable,” the R&B musician Josiah Wise, professionally known as serpentwithfeet, says near the start of “Heart of Brick.” Covered in a fuzzy blanket, sipping a glass of wine, he tells us that he prefers to stay at home.

It’s an unusual introduction for a show in a theater. But “Heart of Brick,” which had its premiere at the Joyce Theater in Manhattan on Friday, is an unusual production. It’s somewhat like a staged concert of songs from Wise’s latest album, “GRIP,” which he performs live to recorded tracks. But it’s also like an 80-minute jukebox musical in which he stars as a version of himself, the songs threaded with scenes of dialogue heard in voice-over while he and the other performers silently act and dance.

The story is sweet and slight. Having made a confidante of the crowd, Wise gets up the courage to visit a nightclub where he has heard his ex-boyfriend might be showing up. The…

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