Imagine “Macbeth,” but with a five-person cast that includes an inebriated actor in the title role. Add a prop dildo, an interpretive dance break and the president’s rousing speech from “Independence Day.” For the witches’ brew, stir together samples from the plentiful cocktails poured for audience members.
Something like that is the formula behind “Drunk Shakespeare,” which over the last five years has become an unlikely Off Off Broadway hit. After a bumpy start, the show has earned such strong word of mouth that producers this month refurbished an old fast-food restaurant to open a Chicago edition.
It might seem as if “Drunk Shakespeare” were inspired by “Drunk History” — a 2007 web series turned Comedy Central mainstay that features a tipsy narrator retelling a historical event as actors lip sync his tale. In fact, another stage show of this ilk got the ball rolling (and is now a competitor of sorts).
Scott Griffin, an Australian tech entrepreneur, saw a show called “_______ Shakespeare” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and wanted to present it in New York, but couldn’t secure the rights. Instead he approached David Hudson of Three Day Hangover, a company that already presented classic plays in bars, about creating their own soused Shakespeare.
Their “Macbeth” began performances at the now shuttered Quinn’s Bar and Grill in March 2014. Mr. Griffin said the original capitalization was 5,000, the majority of which came from his own pocket. It lost money during its six-month run.
However, he decided to remount the show at a more legit space, the also-now-shuttered Times Square Arts Center. Ticket sales began to increase. In 2016, a New York Times reviewer named it a Critic’s Pick.
The show has moved twice since and is now at the 777 Theater, in a setting that took approximately 0,000 to build. Capacity is 135; patrons sit on benches or movable wooden chairs in a circle around the performance space. Some 15,000 books surround the audience.
But it’s not the library atmosphere that helped the show recoup its budget in about 18 months, seen by upward of 45,000 people in nearly 500 performances last year alone, according to Mr. Griffin.
Ticket prices are comparatively low, generally ranging from to , with plenty of business done through discount resellers. Marketing efforts include outreach to hotel concierges and influencers, occasionally putting out fliers and contests on dating and wedding sites.
Neither major advertising, nor a particularly active social media presence, can account for the success, however.
“I don’t think the magic is in one thing,” Mr. Griffin said. “As often as possible, something outrageous in the performance drives word of mouth.”
Audience members interviewed at recent performances had indeed heard about the show from friends. They said they generally liked it, though some had trouble following the “Macbeth” plot.
And if the Shakespeare in the show’s title wasn’t to everyone’s liking, the show’s other selling point had its fans.
“I drank six shots before the free entry shot,” said Samuel Ackers, 27, after an 8 p.m. performance. “When in Rome, or Scotland, or something.”
“Drunk Shakespeare” offers an atmosphere of raunchy chaos that turns out to be carefully ordered. Along with the radically abbreviated “Macbeth,” the performers arrive with scripted bits of humor, and room is left for improvisation.
Because there is audience interaction, the five-person ensemble comes to suss out the room before the performance begins, getting a sense of how people look, who could be teased, and who might go along with being touched or brought physically into the action.
Aubrey Taylor remembered a fellow actor playing Macbeth reaching into a woman’s bag to get a prop and finding purchases from the Museum of Sex.
Mariah Parris, another cast member, spoke about three women who were there to honor their recently deceased grandmother, who dreamed of coming to New York. The actors incorporated the grandmother’s name into the show.
Drinking is not part of the audition process, nor is it rehearsed. It just is. One actor — never the narrator — does at least five shots of his or her choosing and drinks the witches’ concoction to get things going. On nights when there is both an 8 p.m. show and a 10 p.m. show, the same actor drinks at both performances. Hydration and food are key.
“The witches’ brew is gross,” said Ms. Taylor, following a doubleheader drinking and performing as Lady Macbeth. “They put pita in it and I want to lie and say I’m gluten-free, but then I remember the Domino’s I ate last night onstage.”
As a nonunion show, “Drunk Shakespeare” has great flexibility. There are 10 actors in the company, though only five go on at a time. It plays a minimum of seven performances per week, but went up to 18 Christmas week last year. Mr. Griffin sometimes adds performances week-of if sales are strong. Each actor is paid 0 per show (with extra for rehearsal). The landlord, who holds the liquor license, makes money off the drinks and limited snacks.
No one at Drunk Shakespeare wants you to worry about an actor’s health (or destroy yours). The actors in it don’t typically drink socially anymore. And the website warns: “We do not condone excessive drinking. Our drunk actors are on a regular rotation system and are carefully monitored at all times.”
“Drunk Shakespeare” doesn’t have a formal budget, but there would be some unusual line items if it did. There are dry cleaning or replacement expenditures if a patron’s clothes or accessories get damaged because of spills or, as happened, an audience member vomiting in another’s designer purse.
Additionally, drunk people tend to steal. A pair of crowns, worn by audience members, were once crafted by an artisan, but have had to be replaced so many times that one of them is now a more budget-conscious cake tin.
“Drunk Shakespeare” began performances in Chicago on May 2. For that production, capitalized at million, the team turned an old fast-food restaurant into a space with a false locksmith’s shop facade and a speakeasy vibe inside. Major costs include construction, a 10-year lease and the expenses associated with having a liquor license (which the production company itself will hold in Chicago).
Expanding the show to other cities, rather than to bigger spaces, is the goal. “There’s a laugh track that has to happen for you to enjoy ‘Drunk Shakespeare,’” Mr. Griffin said. “If you have a big room with only a few people in it, that doesn’t work.”
Despite the show’s success, Mr. Griffin acknowledged that the formula doesn’t always work. His Brass Jar Productions presented “Trainspotting Live” in the same building last year, which he estimates lost about 0,000.
Meanwhile, the beyond-drunk Shakespeare production that Mr. Griffin initially wanted to bring to the United States eventually arrived in 2015 and now plays weekly in Boston; Austin, Tex.; and Atlanta. Plans are in the works for Pittsburgh and Chicago.B:
今期新版玄机跑狗图【宁】【千】【好】【没】【来】，【第】【二】【天】【罗】【亦】【平】【的】【司】【机】【小】【米】【去】【宁】【千】【好】【家】【里】【接】【她】【时】，【她】【不】【在】【家】。【确】【切】【地】【说】，【没】【人】【开】【门】。 【小】【米】【敲】【了】【半】【天】【门】【没】【有】【回】【应】，【打】【宁】【千】【好】【的】【电】【话】【是】【关】【机】【状】【态】，【眼】【看】【航】【班】【时】【间】【快】【到】【了】，【才】【打】【电】【话】【找】【罗】【亦】【平】【汇】【报】。 【叶】【知】【秋】【一】【接】【到】【消】【息】，【便】【往】【宁】【千】【好】【家】【里】【的】【固】【定】【电】【话】【上】【打】，【依】【然】【没】【人】【接】。 【她】【急】【得】【团】【团】【转】，“【亦】【平】，【报】【警】
【有】【人】【祭】【出】【了】【生】【灵】【碎】【骨】，【涌】【出】【大】【道】【契】【机】，【藉】【此】【机】【会】【打】【开】【了】【一】【条】【通】【道】。 【却】【是】【引】【起】【了】【通】【天】【杀】【伐】，【来】【此】【地】【的】【多】【是】【一】【些】【没】【有】【任】【何】【背】【景】，【甚】【至】【是】【一】【些】【老】【家】【伙】【欲】【要】【借】【十】【万】【山】【拼】【一】【下】，【所】【以】【这】【场】【杀】【伐】【更】【是】【显】【得】【尤】【为】【惊】【人】。 【那】【些】【道】【路】【上】【的】【生】【灵】【见】【此】，【也】【是】【纷】【纷】【出】【手】，【凭】【借】【圣】【灵】【宝】【物】、【纹】【骨】、【碎】【骨】、【血】【脉】【等】【等】，【近】【乎】【几】【个】【呼】【吸】【的】【工】【夫】，
【另】【一】【边】。 【薄】【情】【跟】【莫】【莉】【走】【进】【日】【式】【料】【理】【店】。 【推】【拉】【门】【一】【开】，【薄】【情】【的】【到】【来】，【瞬】【间】【吸】【引】【所】【有】【异】【性】【的】【目】【光】。 “【厉】【总】。” 【薄】【情】【跟】【着】【莫】【莉】【礼】【貌】【颔】【首】，【问】【好】。 【厉】【钧】【一】【记】【眼】【风】【扫】【过】【来】，【莫】【莉】【坐】【在】【桌】【子】【中】【间】【的】【位】【置】，【还】【有】【一】【个】【空】【位】【置】，【就】【在】【厉】【钧】【的】【身】【边】。 【薄】【情】【神】【色】【淡】【淡】，【安】【静】【落】【座】。 “【二】【位】【美】【女】【来】【晚】【了】，【先】【罚】【酒】【三】
【火】【箭】【弹】【的】【威】【力】【毋】【庸】【置】【疑】【强】【大】，【特】【别】【是】【对】【上】【幼】【虫】【级】“【异】【变】【虫】”。 【幼】【虫】【级】“【异】【变】【虫】”【的】【防】【御】【力】【根】【本】【扛】【不】【住】【火】【箭】【弹】【的】【炸】【裂】【攻】【击】。 【尽】【管】【这】【一】【击】【徐】【光】【辉】【没】【有】【精】【确】【瞄】【准】，【甚】【至】【没】【有】【冲】【着】“【异】【变】【行】【军】【蚁】”【致】【命】【颅】【脑】【位】【置】【射】【袭】，【但】【打】【中】“【异】【变】【行】【军】【蚁】”【那】【就】【是】【成】【功】。 “【轰】~” 【一】【声】【爆】【响】【过】【后】，“【异】【变】【行】【军】【蚁】”【整】【个】【身】【子】【被】今期新版玄机跑狗图“【欢】【迎】【回】【到】【大】【话】【西】【游】！” 12【点】【整】！【整】【个】【登】【录】【界】【面】【忽】【然】【一】【亮】，【状】【态】【也】【显】【示】【为】【开】【启】，【早】【有】【准】【备】【的】【两】【人】【连】【忙】【登】【录】【游】【戏】。 【进】【度】【读】【取】【中】…… 【霎】【时】，【游】【戏】【画】【面】【一】【变】。 【叶】【枫】【的】【男】【人】【号】【出】【现】【在】【家】【园】【内】。 【与】【此】【同】【时】，【整】【个】【世】【界】【频】【道】【就】【像】【是】【炸】【开】【锅】【一】【样】，【无】【数】【信】【息】【如】【洪】【流】【一】【般】，【快】【速】【滚】【动】。 “【天】【呐】，【我】【的】【名】【字】【被】【人】
“【不】，【你】【不】【知】【道】，【你】【永】【远】【都】【不】【可】【能】【知】【道】，【就】【算】【将】【我】【的】【牙】【齿】【骨】【头】【全】【部】【敲】【碎】，【我】【也】【不】【会】【告】【诉】【你】【一】【个】【字】。” 【面】【对】【监】【狱】【长】【麦】【哲】【伦】【的】【威】【胁】，【草】【帽】【小】【子】【路】【飞】【不】【甘】【示】【弱】，【他】【连】【世】【界】【政】【府】【都】【不】【怕】，【又】【怎】【么】【会】【惧】【怕】【一】【个】【监】【狱】【长】。 “【是】【吧】，【你】【要】【接】【受】【的】，【可】【不】【是】【你】【看】【到】【的】【这】【些】【温】【柔】【的】【刑】【法】。【而】【是】，【比】【你】【所】【看】【到】【的】【刑】【法】，【更】【加】【残】【酷】，【百】【倍】