Here everything is soft and smooth.

Directed by Frank Cwiklik. Jake Minter as the Hero, Kristine Palka as the Princess. Filmed live on stage in NYC.

Imagine my shock.

Official music video. From the album #walledgardens, now available at bandcamp:

Starring Mickey Abbate, Kristine Palka, Kevin Hauver, Madeline Shaffer, Kat Donachie, Phoebe Tamble, Maddie Booth, Ansley Hamilton, Meredith Martin.

Choreography by Heather Cole.

Directed, Photographed, and Edited by Frank Cwiklik.


I bet Shakespeare was a player
He had his pick of all the chorus boys

This used to be my town
I really used to get around
Now I'm stuck here between these windowless walls
While all those bastards are denying it all

Stop acting so offended
This didn't start with me
The casting couch bit is older than time
They knew the routine
They were standing in line
Baby take a number
You're not my only customer

You wanna make a movie
I bet you have a screenplay
Everyone comes to this town with a dream
That the cheers and applause will drown out all the screams

You wanna be a pop star
I'll introduce you to some people

I loved you in that one thing
Now let's see you dressed in nothing
Don't you dare pretend this is your first rodeo
Reliable sources say you're ready to go
This is how business is done dear
You knew that when you came here

These streets are made of mayhem
The roads are paved with failures
Used to have a table with my name on a plaque
Til they rolled me like a drunk and knifed me in the back

No one will remember this
No one really cares
A hundred years on they'll remember my name
My work is immortal
It'll outlast my shame
You're nothing but a footnote
Art lives on forever

Don't push me I'll start talking
Piss me off and I'll start naming names
And now they're all acting like they hadn't a clue
Don't let them fool you baby everyone knew

You know Chaplin was a player
He had his pick of all the chorus girls

One day they'll all see.

One of a series of b-sides and bonuses for the new DMTheatrics album #walledgardens. Words and music (c) 2018 Frank Cwiklik

#walledgardens available at

This is one of the first songs written for #walledgardens, but was cut at the last minute for time (as I was determined to stay at a classic vinyl-era album length of 40 to 45 minutes) and because the same theme was already covered in Year Zero and New Leather Raincoat, both of which fit the album better sonically. I'm still very happy with this one, though, especially the Nesmith-meets-Bacharach chord progression, and didn't want it to go to waste, so here 'tis.


That's a good one
Get that down
I will destroy them
And bring you their heads on a pole
I am ready
More than ready
Hey did they notice me
Hey did they smile
I am very
Say what to say
I'm your ally
I'm your buddy
I'll slay who you want me to slay I will do anything
If I'm allowed
I am waiting
Always waiting

We're the shock troops that hurl ourselves into the wall
Hey come at me
Where's my money

Hey did you see me climb right up his ass and
Work him ably
Like a muppet
Now they'll all see
Boy look at me
I'm amazing
I don't like you playing those games
I don't like your jokes and I
don't like your songs
I will drop you
Don't you test me
Ah say what to say
I can't be expected to do this alone
Only worry
More's the pity

I'm a man of big words
I'm a man of small times
Don't you like me
Won't you like me

I think you owe me
I'll tell on you now hey
I'm amazing
I'm a hero
I'll pull out the pin
I'm not worthy
You're not worthy
I warned you all how this would go
I can't believe I once got drunk with you

You are nothing
I'm an army
Fight with children
Scream at numbers
Is a weapon
Long ellipses
Don't you like me
Smash that button
Smash that button

No. It's the children who are wrong.

From the album #walledgardens, now available at bandcamp:


When I was barely in my twenties
I learned a valuable lesson from a handsome tender man who must have been at least twice my age
It was a magical weekend
I'll always treasure those memories
Yes I know you're not supposed to say that out loud nowadays
So now I pay it forward and I pass these secrets on to you
And you have no idea the nasty things that this old broad can do
I can be your fantasy or be your cold reality
Did you hear what I told you
Can you stop messing with the radio
I've learned Victoria's secret
And the uproarious secret is that girls of your generation don't know how to strut their stuff
A little light conversation then a trip to the bedroom
I am trying to seduce you are my signals not enough
You are aware I want you for body not your intellect
I don't really care about some bullshit from the internet
Keep your mouth shut when you're not between my knees you idiot
You're ruining everything
No I don't want to debate you

Say could you leave in the morning
Better yet this evening
I would hate to have the neighbors realize what I have done
Well I'm sure that I'm sorry
You were the one who came to soon
You say you're disappointed well you're not the only one
wait I'm sorry I said that
can we keep it between us
maybe something between us
was there a spark or was just me
Can you put your phone away while I'm showing off my lingerie
did I mention I'm flexible did I mention the pilates
Put down the phone
I'm standing right here
Jet fuel false flag fear Washington
Seth Rich ancient aliens NSA
Flouride in the water gonna turn frogs gay
Military Industrial complex

The internet never forgets.

words and music (c) 2018 Frank Cwiklik

from #walledgardens, new album releasing 9.9.18


when the day has ended
and the night has drawn its shadows
and you're tossing restless
teased by all your indiscretions
lazy lights aglowing in a haze of stolen whiskey
deep within the fog you spy a silent angry ghost

your sins are stacked and waiting
and the past another country
the lonely winds are blowing
through the gaps around the door
wound within the horsehair a forgotten gold medallion
a past you may have thrown away or lost who can remember anymore

no one else is waiting at your door
now the past is over
all those years of trying led you to another failure
time your only jailer

the burning rays of daylight
and another stretch of desert
dodging death and insects
and your own misgotten lore
the orange sands are shifting to reveal your broken ruins
laughing hieroglyphics and a wedding dress of stone

they say the truth is out there
if by out there you mean heaven
when they say you're lying
tell them “only in the gutter”
a broken arm is reaching out for another empty bottle
knock into the altar and sweep all the unlit candles to the floor

now the ghosts are kicking down the door
the past is never over
more waiting and complaining and what for
now the ghosts have tearing up the floor
what's the use in running anymore

These books aren't going to burn themselves.

words and music (c) 2018 Frank Cwiklik

from #walledgardens, new album releasing 9.9.18


new leather raincoat
theft is a bargain
lace up my boots
and I'll march for a mile
I am a good man
my cause is a just one
pull up a bucket
I'll preach for a while
I'll have the answers
before you have questions
don't question my answers
just give me a smile

I'm made of kerosene
guilt and catastrophe
I am a weapon
For all I believe and belief is divine
I move like astroglide
nasty and terrified
up and away
and away and away
I am slicing through time
it's all so simple now
I can see everything
don't say my name
not a name

you've been searching
well I have solutions
certain and trembling
and cold as the dead
what's that you're saying
I can't really hear you
over these voices that
cough in my head
rainbows in ashes
and knives in the gutter
my cause is a just one
and one step ahead

don't take that tone with me
I'm the hall monitor
I am the man and the man is a man who is quick to upset
shut up when you talk to me
silence your heresy
we've your best interests at heart
don't let's start
what was that
was that a threat
do you know who I am
don't you know who I am
who do you know
do you know

don't pray
down on your knees and don't pray
don't pray
hands on your knees and don't pray

I am a superstar
I am the commissar
I've got a list and you're on it
and so are your family and friends
I'll tell you who you are
I'll tell you what you are
I'll tell you what your words mean
yil they change
and they'll change til the end
isn't this fun to do
isn't this fun for you
isn't this fun
hey get up

don't pray
hands on your knees and don't pray
don't pray
face to the wall and don't pray

Blocked and reported.

#walledgardens new album 9.9.18

words and music (C) 2018 Frank Cwiklik


I'm glad he died
I'm glad he died
I'm sure you remember when he told that joke that had us mortified
Thank God she's gone
Thank God she's gone
I shall not associate with people of her background from now on

If I ball my fists up and I thrust my arms out straight from side to side
And I whip them both around like helicopter rotors wild and wide
And I twist my body at the waist like I'm a giant wrist
Connected to a giant fist
If you get hit
It's not my fault

Here comes a thread 1/
Here comes a thread 2/
All you silly backward little people better get it thru your head
I've come to know
I've learned to grow
All those things I used to think that you still think are dumb and have to go

If I ball my fists up and I thrust my arms out straight from side to side
And I whip them both around like helicopter rotors wild and wide
If I twist my body at the waist like I'm a giant wrist
Connected to a giant fist
And you get hit
It's not my fault


I don't like thing
I don't like thing
Thus and so you must stop your enjoyment of these very nasty things
Where are you now
what when and how
What do you mean you made plans when I made plans your plans are not allowed

If I ball my fists up and I thrust my arms out straight from side to side
And I whip them both around like helicopter rotors wild and wide
And I twist my body at the waist like I'm a giant wrist
Connected to a giant fist
And you get hit
It's not my fault

where did everybody go

Everything is fine.

#walledgardens new album 9.9.18. "Year Zero" available at

words and music (C) 2018 Frank Cwiklik


there is no history
there is no tomorrow
there is only now and what we want and what we say we are
there is only how we feel and what we need and what we have to hand right now

don't need to know your name
to know you're next in line
fire up your torches boys
I've found our new Frankenstein
won't bother reading the charges
you're guilty anyhow
you'll come to love the dull embrace of the perpetual now

we've got our blades in hand
let's break out that Glasgow smile
it's the least we can do
to let you groan for a while
then you'll pick up arms and join us in our virtuous vow
there's nothing but the dull embrace of the perpetual now

I like this new regalia
do you think it suits me well
what an awesome sight to see our army marching to Hell
all is permitted but not forgotten
we can use it somehow
we've weaponized the dull embrace of the perpetual now

have you forgotten how you treated me that one distant time
now every slight and mistake becomes a federal crime
you best burn all of your books and wipe your memory somehow
resign yourself into the smog of the perpetual now

definitions are suggestions
up and down are just illusion
all your words defined as violence
all my violence is peformance

every grudge a new beginning and they're growing in size
you're so besotted with your power that you don't realize
that all the guns are turning, pointing at your own sweating brow
they've come to master all the rules of the perpetual now

“how'd I end up in here
I was your friend” he wailed
well that was yesterday
I'm afraid that warship has sailed
a gruesome parody of all the things you said were allowed
we've come to love the dull embrace of the perpetual now
definitions are suggestions
up and down are just illusions
your very being is a construct
every law is just a guideline

every man a firing squad
all the torpedos circle back around
form a circle in the village square


Created 1 year, 2 months ago.

8 videos

CategoryArts & Literature

DMTheatrics has been creating theater, film, music, and trouble since 1999. One of New York City's longest-running and best known indie theater companies, DMTheatrics creates high art in low places, from Shakespeare to Ed Wood, from Lebowski to Lear. Check back every Sunday evening for new content: performances, short films, music. Our work may be outlandish, odd, or even pretentious, but we promise we will never be boring.