Combine one of New York’s top bars, an adventurous distillery and a famous troupe of three men painted in blue and you wind up with the bedlam of Mindcluck II — an interactive cocktail + theater experience where the drinks are part of the story.
“We wanted to do something totally original, trippy and exciting” says GN Chan of Double Chicken Please, which was just awarded the number one spot in North America’s 50 Best Bars 2023. “Our ultimate goal is for people to have that ‘WTF?’ moment — you don’t even know what you just saw or experienced but it stays with you.”
To provide that sensation Chan turned to the Blue Man Group, which has been performing shows in New York since 1991 and has branched out to tours and shows around the world. “They’ve customized an amazing evening just for our space,” says Chan. “And people won’t be sitting down, they’re part of the plot! They’ll be moving around the space and helping to find the chicken.”
“We’ve never done anything like this,” says Bhurin Sead, one of the Blue Man performers. “It’s been incredibly colloborative and forward thinking. There’s a little bit of everything. Some elements from our show that we’re making fit into their space and things we’ve created just for this event. There’s a lot of audience particpation.”
To make the cocktails as imaginative as the show, Chan will be serving five drinks all made with products from Empirical — a Denmark-based distillery that produces what they call ‘uncategorized’ spirits that concentrate on ‘unique and unexpected’ flavors. “Empirical and Double Chicken Please have similar approaches to how we want to create flavors, experiences and memories. We try to utilize everything they make. We’ve even used the for small bites.”
“Having Empirical as a part of Mindcluck is obvious,” says Lars Williams, CEO and Distiller at Emprical. “It’s innovative and genre-bending and we fit right in. Our spirits are ‘uncategorized’ and so is this concept. Anything GN and the Double Chicken Please team put together we want to be a part of.”
All of the cocktails will be based on the plot of the performance and best of all — some people will be getting their drinks directly from blue-painted men. “They will be dispatching cocktails which are incorporated into the show and some will be coming out of a pipe,” says Chan, referring to a prop traditionally used in the Blue Man Group’s main show. “The drinks will be in different formats, some will be regular cocktails, some will be shots and some will be dessert.”
And will the blue men be trying the drinks as well? “I sure hope so,” says Sead. “For me the biggest thing to come from this event is that the audience gets an up-close and personal experience with the Blue Man Group. When we’re on stage there is always that gap. At Double Chicken Please we’re able to go out into the audience and that gives us a lot as performers.”
Sead promises a lot of intercation with the attendees, but without wanting to give too much away he suggests one lucky person is going to have an extremely unique experience. “There’s going to be a moment where someone is going to have to have a lot of trust,” says Sead. “They’ll have to take a risk and then see what happens.”
Mindcluck II will take place at Double Chicken Please on September 23 and 24. Tickets, on sale starting September 9 on Resy, are $175 and include admission, cocktails and bar fare.
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