Wednesday, March 11, 2015

'Joe's NYC Bar' brings St. Matthew's Tavern a whole new cast of characters to drink with

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 9:38 AM

click to enlarge MICHAEL CAIRNS
  • Michael Cairns
First thing you need to know: Joe ain’t some sweaty tattooed barkeep. The original Joe was Josephine, matriarch of the fictional Lower East Side bar in the 1920s – a lineage that was explored in the 2004 Fringe Festival run of Joe’s NYC Bar. That was the 10th “episode” of the interactive play, which launched in 2001. The throughline of the show is the steady presence of actor-director Christian Kelty, who wrote the first one and has been in every show. Now, after a 10-year pause, the bar and its denizens are back, and though we can’t say what they’ll be up to this time around, you can count on the fact that it will involve you. Walk into St. Matthew’s, order a cocktail, enjoy the band, and don’t be surprised when some of your fellow drinkers start telling stories and generally acting out. In fact, join in if you’re up to it; beyond a basic plot framework and a few monologues, the show is improvised, hence different every time. Today is the first of six Sunday performances, and the house band is Tod Kimbro & Jeff Forte; stay tuned for Kaleigh Baker, Eugene Snowden and more in weeks to come.

3 p.m. Sunday, March 15 | St. Matthew’s Tavern, 1300 N. Mills Ave. | | $15-$20

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