Theatrical Drinking Events in NYC

If you’re heading into Midtown for a night of theater, you’re probably aware that you should plan to have a few drinks with dinner–because having a few drinks during the show could cost as much as dinner itself. With pricing like $20 for a cocktail or $14 for a glass of cheap wine, it’s beyond prohibitive to enjoy a little buzz on Broadway.

If you’re willing to venture beyond the bright lights of the Great White Way, however, there are several off-Broadway options for you to afford drinks during plays. In fact, there are even fun and hilarious shows that incorporate drinking into the experience. Here are a few options:


“The Imbible”

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
SoHo Playhouse
15 Vandam St.

Learn about history the way all academics do–while really wasted and inexplicably entertained. “The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking” retells the past with a decidedly alcoholic slant. The sometimes-musical and always uproarious show, which was a hit at Fringe Fest in 2014 and has been running ever since, explores how we drink and why, from bathtub moonshine to illegal speakeasies. It’s factual, so you might actually learn something (even if you later drink that knowledge away). Tickets are $55, and that includes three complimentary drinks. The company is also doing a special edition for the holidays. “The Imbible: Christmas Carol Cocktails” runs through Jan. 2, 2016, at the Elektra Theatre (300 W. 43rd St.) with tickets at $75, including your three free cocktails.


One Tuesday per month
622 Degraw St., Brooklyn

Drinking games are commonly reserved for movies and the occasional Republican debate. But Brooklyn-based theater company UglyRhino makes the concept even more immersive with live theater drinking game on one Tuesday each month. Audience members pick up their drink of choice at the bar and then head into the theater for six 10-minute plays. Each one has incorporated five drinking cues in the movement or script–as many times as the playwright and director decide. It’s a wild night of laughs as the audience plays–and drinks–along. And it’s a great chance to catch emerging talent from throughout NYC letting loose onstage. Plus, the event often includes live music and social parties before and after the plays for a full evening of entertainment.

“Drunk Shakespeare”

On sale through Feb. 18, 2016
The Lounge at Roy Arias Stages
300 W. 43rd St.

You’ve never seen Shakespeare like this–and once you do, you may never want to see it any other way again. Calling themselves “a society of professional drinkers with a real Shakespeare problem,” the Drunk Shakespeare Society performs the works of the Bard nightly–except that at least one cast member, and perhaps more, are off-their-rockers drunk on shots of whiskey. And you’re invited to drink along as something like the plot of “Macbeth” heads swiftly off the rails with improvisational comedy, interruptions, and perhaps an entirely different ending than you remember from high school lit class. Tickets start at $54, but the $72 ticket gives you a ringside seat and allows you to have one beer, wine, or cocktail with a value up to $15 for free.

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