I had the chance attend a performance of The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking in New York last week. The Drambuie-sponsored show had a sold-out run at The New York International Fringe Festival in August and was selected for an extended run with the 2014 FringeNYC ENCORE Series in September.
The Imbible features playwright Anthony Caporale, a master mixologist, producer and host of Art of the Drink TV and U.S. Drambuie brand ambassador, as The Bartender. Accompanied by The Backwaiters a cappella group (Ruthellen Cheney, Ariel Estrada and Nicole DiMattei, who also directs the show), Caporale tells the story of spirits and cocktails from 10,000 BC to today.
The show includes singing, comedy sketches, costume changes, and on-stage demonstrations of fermentation and distillation. It also includes three cocktails during the performance: the Rusty Ale (a shot of Drambuie dropped into an IPA), a classic Old Fashioned and a Gin & Tonic. I didn’t expect to care much for the Rusty Ale, but it turned out to be a favorite.
The Imbible was a great time—an intoxicating mix of song, science and storytelling. And the venue, the 55-seat Huron Club at the SoHo Playhouse, certainly fit the bill. The speakeasy-like space had been a popular meeting house and night club for the Democratic Party back in the day—what better place for a revue on the history and politics of drinking?