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You Dont Have to be Drunk to Enjoy Drunk Shakespeare

… But it helps!

Say you’re visiting NYC, but big-budget Broadway musicals were never your thing (they happen to be MY thing, but people and their interests come in all shapes and sizes!) Sports bars would be fun because of the drinks, the high-octane energy and the shouting, screaming patrons but sports are a bore. And this is New York City, not Green Bay! NYC is the world capital of culture! So what evening activity is there for intrepid travelers to check out? Something fun and funny but not too serious? Something intimate and engaging but not too erudite? And something that only gets better with booze! Well, if one of our pub crawls is already on your agenda, there’s only one thing left to check out: the no-holds-barred, hysterical, alcohol-fueled production of one of the Bard’s greatest plays – Drunk Shakespeare.

The wife and I were lucky enough to score a Lila-sitter and check out a rip-roaring off-Broadway production by “a group of drinkers with a Shakespeare problem.” Imagine an improv group, better than anything you’ve ever seen in college, deciding to mount a bare-bones production of the Play that we Shall Not Name. Then one of the actors downs five successive shots of whiskey. Then mayhem ensues. Some fancy-pants high roller gets crowned King and gets to drink champagne out of a boot.

The setting is a book-paneled library and the bar is a secret nook hidden behind a bookcase wall.

The performance, although mostly following the script of the Play we Shall Not Name, was littered with pop-culture references, from Adele to the Politicians running for President, to the holiday season and tourists five-abreast on the sidewalks. The show was approximately 40% improv comedy and 60% Shakespearean text, but I’m pretty sure that Shakespeare didn’t write or choreograph the dance moves from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

In short, it was an extraordinary two hours, that mixed some of our favorite things – strong drinks, smart comedy, engaging history, only-in-NY attitude. Drunk Shakespeare gets two thumbs up and one head in the toilet bowl!

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