You guys, I’m entering the second week of a 3-week “Jess, get your shit together” eating plan. This means less carbs, no Starbucks, and absolutely no beers. Attending an interactive drinking show celebrating all things booze is probably not the best way to kick off 3 weeks of sobriety, but Pure & Weary’s “Liquid Courage: A Drinking Show” turned out to be a blast for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
As I mentioned, this is an interactive drinking show. The cast wasted no time in establishing the rules: If someone says “Cheers,” you drink. They asked a girl in the front row her name, so “Jessica” became the second cue to drink. Immediately the cast members taunted the audience: “Cheers! Jessica! Jessica! Cheers!” And we were off.
“Liquid Courage,” directed by Megan Johns, deserves major points for its timing. No sketch seemed to drag on, the cast (who also wrote the show) trusted the audience to get the joke. There were several sketches that could have easily been minutes longer in lesser hands, but the cast kept the show fast-paced and fun.
As expected, when you advertise your show as an interactive drinking show, you should expect some over-served folks to show up and be a little too interactive. Hecklers can completely change the course of a show if they are not handled well, but the cast remained absolutely professional with even the most vocal audience members. One sketch gave cast members Terrence Carey, Adam Levin, and Katie Nixon a chance to flaunt their political impressions as President Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, respectively. The presidential nominees were to answer questions from the audience and whoever had the best answer got to take a shot of Ciroc while the loser had to take a shot of Malort. Unfortunately, the winner was determined by audience cheers and an extremely intoxicated fellow behind me was screaming as if Sanders himself were in the room. Levin’s Bernie acknowledged the outbursts, joking that it was his nephew in the audience.
Another memorable moment of impromptu audience participation happened again with Levin, as he writhed around on stage as an unsettling Malort spokesperson. As luck would have it, a bachelorette party occupied the front row and they called out the bride for never having tried the infamous Chicago liqueur. Levin was quick to bring the bride onstage, where she gamely took two deep swigs from the bottle.
“So the sketch was supposed to end with me taking a shot and screaming like a little boy, do you wanna just do it with me?” Levin improvised. The bride obliged, her friends (including Jessica…drink!) cheered, and an audience comment that could have easily been ignored was instead celebrated and turned into a hilarious memory for that group of friends.
Audience members are in for an extremely well-written show with “Liquid Courage,” but this engaging and up-for-anything cast will make sure the entire experience is unique every time. The show runs for the next two Fridays (4/15 & 4/22) at 10:30 pm in The Beat Lounge. Cheers!