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. 


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