By Cameron Hughes
The fascinating and enjoyable Cocktail Magique at Cocktail Magique Theatre in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn (Jefferson Street stop on the L train) is one of the best nights out you’ll ever have.
This is a thoroughly enchanting, magical show. Part cabaret, part acrobatics, part circus, part magic acts, part singing, part audience participation, and part burlesque, this is a show that gives you everything and entertains fully for a very satisfying evening. The burlesque is risqué and playfully sensual but never vulgar, and no one fully disrobes. The show is also hysterically funny with humor which is campy, witty, slightly blue, and endearingly playful. And rest assured, the audience participation is in the form of asking for suggestions and input from the crowd rather than pulling people up onto the stage.
The venue is wonderfully done up with fantastic colors and bold ornamentation. Think Berlin cabaret in the 20s or Paris’ Moulan Rouge and you might have an idea. Or you can see images of the room and the performers here and here. The space is almost otherworldly in an imaginative and fun way. There’s a nice use of theatrical smoke and colorful lights giving the room a spooky but playful look.
It’s hard to imagine an evening out more fun than this. The costumes, makeup, wigs, and design are imaginative and perfect. The talent of EVERY performer is impressive. This is a show that won’t be easy to forget. Part of the fun is watching how the performers play through the small gaffs that inevitably crop up in a live event like this. Or are they gaffs? These pros are so deft at playing through any situation, it’s hard to know if the moments are intentional or not. It’s one thing to be an effective comic on stage, and quite another to be funny and playfully spontaneous. This is a thrilling show which awes at every turn.
The audience sits in one of three sections in the venue. There are chairs close to the lip of the stage, small intimate couches for two behind them, and raised chairs and tables further back. There’s no bad seat in the house and the performers frequently mingle and cavort among the audience. Everyone is served several delicious cocktails and tasty bites during the course of the show with additional libations available at the bar.
There are upgrade packages should you wish to experience more, including the Fortune Teller upgrade where a pleasant and engaging reader will interpret tarot cards for you. My wife and I never had readings before and it was a fun experience. You’re wonderfully and mysteriously lead into the back workings of the venue through a decorated kitchen to a small colorful intimate room where a delightful and skilled reader did our cards over an additional libation. We enjoyed it and can tell you the tarot reader was fun and convincing. As for what the cards said about my future, let’s just say I’m about to finish my will. Kidding! Our reading was interesting and pleasant.
I can’t recommend this show enough!
Cocktail Magique is performing at Cocktail Magique Theatre in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, 17 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237. Tickets range from $185, $215, and $495 for the Luxe Couch for Two or $695 with the Fortune Teller Upgrade who will read tarot cards for you. They’re available here. Please note that discounts can be found with a little searching on the web including TodayTix.
The running time is 2 hours including two intermissions. The show has been extended with performances Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 89:00 pm through January 2024.
The Creative Team is Austin McCormick (Creator, Producer, Director & Cocktail Menu), Zane Pihlström (Costume & Scenic Designer), Sam Urdang (Creative Collaborator), Brian Tovar (Lighting Designer), Sarah Cimino (Makeup Designer), Charlie August Kellogg (Wig Design), Kenneth Griffin (Wig Design), Julian Evans (Sound Design), Todd Robbins (Magic Consultant), Matthew Holtzclaw (Magic Consultant)