While theater is an art form with a shelf life — sometimes a show outlives its closing. Such is the story with Bliss Street, an Off-Broadway show at Theater for the New City that played from April 27 to May 14, 2023, which just released its cast recording last week. The production looked at the New York 70’s rock and roll scene and celebrated Paul Sub’s Coventry, a 5,000 square-foot music venue once located on Bliss Street in Queens, and hosted such bands as Kiss, The Ramones, Blondie and the New York Dolls.
Using Abra Bigham’s book based on Rich Brotman and Charlie Sub's concept, the show interwove Paul’s club experience with his son Charlie’s, who grew up immersed within the music scene. Charlie also wrote the words and lyrics for Bliss Street. The original show included virtual scenery by Carlos Almonte of MotionBlur, offering the audience a glimpse of how Charlie remembered that world.
His band, Charlie Sub & Sound Dogs, is featured on the album, “Bliss Street: The New Era.” The release offers songs from the show that embrace the vibe of glam rock, mixing it with a contemporary feel.
The raucous music is feisty and fun but sometimes the beat seems stronger than the lyrics like in the number, “Built This House.” Still, there is much here to enjoy, such as “Coventry Tonight” with its simple piano intro and sweet duet recalling the venue’s significance.
Besides the album, Charlie keeps Bliss Street alive at Ethyl’s, his venue in Manhattan, which hosts a monthly show featuring Bliss Street music. You can hear the music of Bliss Street on the official YouTube channel.