Didactic theater with drinks included! After their Sunday brunch show at New World Stages, I met with the talented Nicole Dimattei to discuss the Off-Broadway hit show THE IMBIBLE
Q: What was your inspiration for this production?
A: So Anthony (Caporale), and I have been working together for eight or nine years now. We met when he hired me at a restaurant as a bartender, we were both involved in theater at the time. He said “Let’s start a company together” and I said “Yeah, sure! That sounds like fun!”. I was really young, didn’t realize it would turn into what it turned into. He also teaches about alcohol, that’s where he came from, he was a brand ambassador for Drambuie. He said “I have this class that I teach, and I think it would be a very fun show.” How he teaches is very theatrical anyway. He created a one man show and it did really well so we decided to try another similar show because there are so many different stories you can tell with alcohol. Anthony luckily has a lot of ideas in his head, he does the writing, I do the producing and help direct and I choreograph.
Q: How did it come about that you decided on New World Stages as a Venue?
A: We were at another theater for two years and it was just time to move. I had contacted them for theater five, which has 199 seats, we couldn’t pull it off on a regular show because we serve drinks during the show so it’s difficult, but, I thought ‘maybe one day, lets just check it out’ and Anthony was sitting here (In the New World Stages Venue) and he joked “we can’t do 199 seats, we have to make them all drinks, do you have a corner we could perform in?” Michael (Coco) said “Actually we have a bar that doesn’t really get used for much” so we said “We’ll take it!” It was a God send.
Q: Do you have hopes for this particular show in the future?
A: You know, so this is our seventh show of this show so I think once we get it under our belts and fix any issues we are still having we will be able to think more on that. We think that this one could travel pretty easily though, it’s a young group of four and everyone loves brunch right? So putting this up in D.C. or Chicago or Boston would be pretty simple.
Q: You are a novelist as well, what is it that inspired your love for writing?
A: It was actually the theater company that Anthony and I started, we would take on new works and produce them, we would do workshops of them, and I really got into the editing, thinking what would be funny or better. It made me think ‘maybe I should try writing?’ I wrote a short play and submitted it into a festival and it got accepted and we realized that this really works. Then I started writing for a sketch comedy group at Carolines on Broadway and then I also wrote a play that was in the Fringe Festival the same year Imbible was in it, which was crazy. It’s fun and you get to fantasies. When I started writing the novels it was a great at home job while this was taking off, so it was good that I could stay at home, write the books and also work on producing the show. I don’t write anymore, I did my fourteenth book, I think I finished eight months ago and haven’t written a book since.
Q: If there are people that want to get involved in your theater company or want to follow your work what are their options?
We hold regular auditions because we have four shows. The regular show also has three people in each role. One of my alto’s in the regular show is doing summer stock but because I have three people in the role she can go do that for a few weeks and come back and still have a job with us. So that it the goal for the brunch show as well. In terms of working for the company I will take any requests to firstname.lastname@example.org I look at everything personally.
Q: Is there anything you feel audiences should know about the show?
A: If you know that you are coming to learn something and to have a good time you’re going to enjoy it. I think sometimes people don’t know what they are getting into, they see three free drinks and they think ‘yeah, it’s a party’ but you have to be prepared to listen and learn and take it all in. We follow the different ways of learning and we try to incorporate that into the show. So many people leave saying ‘I had no idea what to expect but I learned so much’. We like having audience members that want to have fun.
More on IMBIBLE: https://imbible.nyc