Joe’s NYC Bar has the opportunity to open up political and philosophical debates that hold potential to create a genuine impact on its participants.
Blended in with the audience, dotted about at the bar and on tables are actors; we have the angsty barmaid, Gabe’s sleazy brother, and some eccentric regulars mooching around. The format of the show is essentially drinking, watch some live music, and talk. These talks are lead by Gabe strolling around and easing us into casual collective conversation, asking general, yet personal questions to the audience. Between pockets of conversation, or to give us a bit of a break from the action, guitarist and singer songwriter Michelle Shocked riffs us off some sweet blues, some of the most passionate and energetic solo music performances many of us will have seen.
This show is heavily dependent on the attendance of an audience ready and prepared to talk, for without it, it just becomes open-ended conversations that lose meaning, and we are subjected to the melodramatic scripted drama between the actors. When an audience is not as responsive to conversation, the actors have to work hard to keep things moving. Going back once again to try and spark off an exciting topic we may have touched on, we find ourselves going about in circles. With a willing and vulnerable audience, Joe’s NYC Bar has the opportunity to open up political and philosophical debates that hold potential to create a genuine impact on its participants.