Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Advil Calendar 2013: INTERMISSION

At this point in your holiday, there's probably only one thing left to do.

SING. Sing, you motherfuckers - sing like you mean it, and dance.

BURN, BRIDGES, BURN - A Holiday Musical Spectacular (With Cocktails)

"Everyone's a Little Bit Spectrum"

We meet our 4 primary cast members (two married couples who are part of the same extended family), as they prepare dinner together prior to a large holiday gathering. Lots of oohs and ahhs as the group executes daring dance moves with knives while laughingly cataloging the quirks of each of their parents and siblings.
This upbeat comic number starts our show off on a cheerfully sarcastic note, and must be accompanied by a swinging retro-modern cocktail, such as this updated take on the Moscow Mule:

The Baltimore Donkey (from Maggie's Farm)
2 oz Tito's vodka
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz ginger syrup
dash of bitters
Shake with ice, strain into highball glass over ice. Garnish with lime twist.

"I've Built a Little Comfort Zone (to Slowly Strangle Us Both)"

This is a cutesy romantic pastiche in the spirit of "There's a Small Hotel" or "Tea for Two," and introduces us to the parents of our leads. Choreography includes a little soft shoe, a couple of turns, a dip, and maybe some humorous business with canes.

It calls for something old-fashioned and sparkly yet toxic with a Capital T, served in a coupe glass.

The Hobnob
¼ ounce absinthe
2" strip of grapefruit zest
2" strip of lime zest
½ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce fresh grapefruit juice
½ ounce fresh lime
2 ounces gin
½ ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur
strip of grapefruit rind, for garnish

Pour the absinthe into an empty coupe glass. Wash the glass with absinthe and pour out the excess. Set glass aside. Add grapefruit zest, lime zest, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the zests until they begin to break apart. Add the grapefruit juice and lime juice. Fill the shaker with ice. Add the gin and maraschino liqueur. Shake hard. Strain the drink into the prepared glass. Garnish with a twist of grapefruit, and serve.

"Peter Pan Got Nothin on Me!"

Introducing the self-centered douchebag second lead, this stompin' piece of mandancing goes with THE most expensive Scotch you can find.

Followed almost immediately by the poignant...


This one goes, "Enable! Enable! I'll enable ya tomorrow. But of course I'll also enable you today." A wrenching solo by the mother character in the vein of "As Long As He Needs Me."

Sip at a tumbler of Bailey's as you sniffle along to this tearjerker.

"How Can I Tell You to Quit Smoking Weed (When I'm on the Bulbie Myself)?"

A bittersweet comic duet between the colorful mother-and-son cousins who arrive from out of town. Throughout the show, they appear towing "new friends," fistfuls of gift cards, and "reconditioned" Xboxes that they are anxious to sell other family members.

White wine mixed with Sprite is the cocktail for this showcase number.

"Christmastime is the Right Time to Ignore My Chronic Condition(s)"

The big Guy Number - lots of opportunity for comedy here as various cast members go into diabetic shock, scramble for emergency inhalers, endure painful gout attacks and allergy-induced migraines, and crash their cars.

Cocktail accompaniment: eggnog.

The Persecution Tango

Nearly wordless dance number performed by the female members of the cast, each of whom gets a minute to tell her story. "But I was supposed to be the princess!" is the main gist.

Protect Ya Neck (Nopa, San Francisco)
We might have to go out for this one. I couldn't find proportions online for this smoky, bitter concoction named after a Wu Tang song. But it's Del Maguey Mezcal Vida blended with Cynar, Gran Classico, and lime juice, and I would probably be willing to experiment here at home to get that one right.

"Whatever You're Smoking, I Want Some of That (Oh No Jesus Christ I Take it Back)"

A nostalgic showcase for a former first lady of the Broadway stage, here playing the slightly out-of-touch family matriarch. The ingenue comes to her for romantic advice, and in between slugs of "lemonade" and prescription medication, she offers wisdom like, "Get knocked up," and "Push him down the stairs and then nurse him back to health."
Lowcountry Lemonade
1 1/2 ounces Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka
2 ounces lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Shake, serve over ice.

"(I Don't Give a Damn Bout Your) Low Expectations"

Showstopper ensemble number by all the younger members of the cast, as they vow to live the lives they choose, surpassing or ignoring the expectations of their parents. Humorous twist in last verse when it is revealed that douchebag second lead actively undercuts his parents' meager hopes so as to be rewarded for accomplishments as minor as not having to be helped into his pants.

Time for a champagne toast! The champagne of beers, that is:

Beer and a Smoke (Jim Meehan, PDT)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ounce Sombra mezcal
¾ ounce lime juice
3 dashes Cholula hot sauce
1 dash celery bitters
1 bottle Victory Pilsner beer (or Miller High Life)
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
Rim a Collins glass with salt, celery salt, and sugar. In a shaker, add the mezcal, lime juice, hot sauce, celery bitters, and ice. Shake and strain into glass. Top with beer and garnish with orange and lime zest.

FINALE - "Will the Cycle Be Unbroken?"

As the music swells, as the curtain sweeps aside to reveal a blue sky backdrop, as the entire cast steps slowly to the apron of the stage and hollers out our version of this powerful gospel number, the matriarch watches from stage left. When the lights dim and the curtain falls, we hear her irritably scoff, "What cycle?" and our show is over.

Thank you for coming tonight! Drive safely, and Happy New Year to you and yours, both the annoying yourses and the lovely wonderful pleasant yourses. I have a 111-lb pig in a garbage can on my porch so I think I might spend my New Years Eve basking contentedly in the knowledge that I will be eating like a maniac tomorrow.

Due to taking lots of days off this December, I still have plenty of Advil material on tap (HA! A PUN!). Stay tuned for a few more posts throughout January.