8 Stories in 8 Drinks in December

Oct. 25, 2016
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I first saw Christmas decorations in a department store downtown on September 11th. It was a little infection of a boutique which has since metastasized to cover the entire store. And it’s not even Halloween yet. It’s going to be kind of a long holiday season. There will be holiday shows...so many, many holiday shows. Alchemist Theatre recently announced its December show . . . a nice, little bit of alternative theatre for the holidays. The Bartender is a one-man show written and performed by Wisconsin Hybrid Theatre regular Randall T. Anderson. 

The idea is charmingly clever: Anderson plays a bartender. Like any bartender, he’s got a lot of stories. The show actually takes place in the Alchemist Lounge. A flight of drinks is served one-by-one with Anderson in character giving a story behind each drink. Anderson’s got a very crisply casual formality about him onstage that should work well in a series of stories he himself has written. Anderson’s presence feels very classy mid-20th century. A bit like a cross between Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart. He’ll be in character as a bartender behind a bar for an intimate, little show this December. The cozy, little space at the theatre lounge has recently been given some great lighting that should serve a variety of different moods for the show, which will also feature video accompaniment. 

8 different sample-sized one-ounce cocktails serve as the basis for 8 different stories. Theatre has an opportunity to appeal to more than just audio/visual senses. The ability to explore other senses is so rarely explored. It’s nice to see a show like this where the tastes and flavors (and a little alcohol) mix into the storytelling. It’ll work well with the chill in the air and the last of the leaves falling from the trees. I can accept the weather getting colder if it’s going to include a show like this. 

Alchemist Theatre’s THE BARTENDER runs Dec. 1 - 17 on 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. For ticket reservations and more, visit Alchemist Theatre online. 


The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case to determine if Wisconsin Republicans’ redistricting maps are too partisan. Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court will order Wisconsin to redraw our legislative maps so the majority of legislative districts are competitive and voters will actually have a real choice between a Democrat and Republican?

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