In a Lower East Side bar, combine…
4 parts downtown theatre
3 parts live music
2 parts love story
1 part farce
3 dashes of opera
Shake vigorously and garnish with cocktails designed by award-winning mixologist Marlo Gamora (head mixologist at Trix in Willamsburg) and you have
Potion: A Play in Three Cocktails
Charley sells potions, handcrafted and custom made. From potions that can make the forgetful remember to potions that will stop a compulsive liar from fibbing, Charley’s concoctions satisfy a diverse clientele. But the one potion Charley hasn’t been able to master is that one she wants for herself: a love potion. Potion, a “spoken word opera” immerses its audience in the giddy world of Charley’s bar and her regular (and irregular) customers, with Gamora’s flight of 3 original “potions” served by the actors as the play unfolds.
To create the uniquely rhythmic text for Potion, Stolen Chair’s playwright Kiran Rikhye dug deeply into the Italian libretti of the operas by Mozart, Verdi, Donazetti, and more. For each scene of Potion, Rikhye mapped out the meter, rhymes, repetitions, and simultaneity of an aria, duet, trio, or quartet to create a template for her own original text. The result is an intoxicating and incantatory verse play unlike any other, set to a genre-bending original score performed live by multi-instrumentalist Sean Cronin. The ensemble performs this “opera” in spoken voice that is every bit as virtuosic, dizzying, and delightful as operatic song in a site-specific staging by Jon Stancato that explores every nook and cranny of PEOPLE’s bar and makes the audience feel they are VIP guests at Charley’s magical speakeasy.
Surreal yet sweet...A charming theatrical evening
This is a fun night at the theatre, y’all. A fun night of theatre at the bar. With delicious custom cocktails. What more could you want?
Adventurous ... impeccably performed and transfixing...[original music] was whimsical and fun...cocktails were delicious and beautifully-served.... [A] refreshing, charming, and clever show.
'Potion' is a magical elixir that charms the audience
Equal parts Shakespeare, soap opera and ‘Alice in Wonderland’…Hypnotic and exciting”
Potion is spoken verse immersive theatre with a twist of lime… a unique evening of theatre and alcohol that is certain to end the weekend on a spirited note.
If you’re looking for a cure for the Sunday night blues, indulge in Stolen Chair’s latest, the whimsical Potion…it’s not only the smashing drinks that will send you home with a warm glow.
[A] good reminder of how much fun a performance can be ... [Stolen Chair's] range and originality seem to know no bound
Kind of like Gertrude Stein on absinthe...Potion is a witty, romantic and fun way to spend an evening, preferably with a date.
Sweet, funny, and charming. By the end, I felt like I had sipped a love potion and fallen in love with Potion.
Innovative...Delicious...[A] truly original, flat out fun evening.
With their adroit artistry and sense of play, Stolen Chair’s Potion is a heady combination of language and music bracketed by cocktails tasting of metaphors and intellectual absinthe.
An unexpectedly vivid, playful, and imaginative love story... The rhythmic musicality of Kiran Rikhye’s juicy libretto and Sean Cronin’s impressive multi-instrumental accompaniment proves Stolen Chair’s experiment with 'spoken word opera' a tremendous success... Truly a unique experience that you won’t want to miss.
The intertextual acrobatics Kiran Rikhye choreographs and Jon Stancato executes left me amazed.
This cute, goofy show makes for an enjoyable evening and will ease any newbie theater-goer into the ropes with cocktails a-plenty.
This is not theater dumbed down for a bar, but rather alcohol treated as an artistic tool. Above all, the audience is given the experience of a beautiful night out.
Directed by Jon Stancato
Written by Kiran Rikhye
Live music by Sean Cronin
With Mixology by Marlo Gamora
Costume Design by Beth Goldenberg
Props & Graphic Design by Aviva Meyer
Lighting Installation by Daniel Winters
Makeup Design by Jaclyn Schaefer
Promotional Art by Zelda Devon
Stage Management by Brooke Bell
Featuring Raife Baker*, Liz Eckert*, Jon Froehlich*, Natalie Hegg*, Molly O’Neill*, Noah Schultz, and David Skeist*
*Appearing courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association.