The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking Created by Anthony Caporale
New World Stages
New York, NY
“To alcohol: the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.” – Homer Simpson
On a recent Saturday evening, my wife and I took in The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking show at New World Stages in midtown Manhattan. Created by Anthony Caporale, who is both the founder of the Broadway Theatre Studio and Director of Beverage Studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, the show is like a college history lecture MIXED with the post-class bar crawl. It combines Caporale’s passions for history, mixology, and all things alcohol into a two hours of hilarious song and dances numbers, ridiculous costume changes, legitimate history, and of course ALCOHOL. As a history teacher by day and avid drinker at night, this felt like a show specially designed for me. And for those thinking, “I don’t know, I can drink without the history,” I assure you, the drinks are delicious, and the show is wildly entertaining, thus making the The Imbible‘s value much higher than your average night at a city bar.
The other night, my wife and I took in one of the most enjoyable evenings of our lives, and spent the night with the Wild Women of Planet Wongo. Described on their website as “an immersive sci-fi comedy,” the show is 90+ minutes of craziness, costumes, and hilarious songs that allows guests to be a part of the performance. Combining the classic sci-fi vibe of the late 50s and early 60s, the intentional cheesiness of Star Trek, and catchiness of hit off-broadway musicals, Wild Women of Planet Wongo is a show like nothing you’ve seen before.
As the Disney Fantasy nears closer to celebrating four years on the open seas, and I recently returned from setting sail on my third voyage on the magnificent vessel, I wanted to place focus on its five main musical productions in the Walt Disney Theatre.
Two of the three featured musicals are exclusive to the Disney Fantasy, two honor the arrival and departure of guests, and the other is appropriately named Believe. Reviewing these five shows required having seen each of them multiple times and evaluating them in comparison to not only one another on the Disney Fantasy, but also those on Disney Cruise Line’s other ships and within the domestic theme parks. Let’s dive right in!
Louis CK performed live at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, the second of his 4-show run at the famous venue, which was originally scheduled for just one date (January 7th), but due to demand, the comedian added more shows.
Aside from the “laugh until you have no air” hilariousness (get to that in a moment), there are two things about this that make Louis CK stand out. One, he is the first comedian ever to have three sold-out shows in the same tour at the Garden (stay tuned to see if that extends to number 4 — I’m sure it will). And two, he is absolutely dedicated to subverting scalpers and annoying extra ticket fees. For most of his tour, he sold $45 tickets to all shows directly from his website. He also put a 200-mile distance limit for purchasers. For MSG, he was able to get Ticketmaster to agree to not bump up the fees so the prices were either $65, $45, or $25. I paid $45 for the same seats that cost $180 for Queen.
Les Miserables Written by Victor Hugo
Adapted by Alain Boublil and Claude Michel Schonberg
Directed by James Powell and Laurence Connor
Produced by Cameron Mackintosh
Starring Ramin Larimloo, Will Swenson, Caissie Levy, Nikki James, Samantha Hill, Andy Mientus, Cliff Saunders, and Keala Settle. Imperial Theatre The Shubert Organization
Opening Night: March 23, 2014
In Les Miserables, Jean Valjean is released from prison after 19 years for stealing bread for his hungry sister’s child. He cannot shake prisoner “24601” as promised by his lifelong nemesis, Javert. Unable to find work, he falls back into a life of crime, but is saved by the bishop he stole from, who urges him to “use this precious silver, to become an honest man.”
Valjean ends up transforming himself into Mayor Lumiere, who is well-respected by everyone, including Javert, who doesn’t recognize him. Inadvertently causing poor Fantine to lose her job, and forcing her into a life of prostitution until she succumbs to sickness, Valjean realizes he needs to make right by the newly orphaned daughter of Fantine, Cosette, while simultaneously avoiding Javert, who is now after him with renewed force.