Cocktail Magique

Cocktail Magique

If one had to dream up the perfect few hours of entertainment, I imagine that vision would look something like Cocktail Magique. It certainly does in Bushwick, where you can see this combination burlesque-circus-magic show-cocktail party and judge for yourself. While other shows put on by Company XIV are fun and cheeky in their transformations of classic stories – like The Nutcracker or Alice in Wonderland – Cocktail Magique asks the question: what if, instead of following a narrative, the artistic goal was simply to delight?

The aptly named Cocktail Magique is a dazzling magic show where many of the illusions revolve around a series of inventive cocktails. It all comes together with the signature baroque burlesque flourish of Company XIV. Between (and sometimes alongside) the magic tricks, the audience is also treated to a lineup of performers so varied that one can hardly imagine what will come next. There’s a banana-skirted Josephine Baker-inspired dancer (Nia Simoné) who showers the crowd with gold confetti from within a giant coupe glass. An aerial dancer (Onyx Noir) spins from an enormous suspended spade. Syrena, who also plays the Caterpillar at the next-door show Queen of Hearts, balances a bowl of liquid on her head while belly-dancing before said liquid is then poured into glasses and distributed amongst the audience. Every element is designed to captivate and titillate, from the costumes, makeup, and wigs, to the signature cocktails served throughout (created by none other than Company  XIV founder Austin McCormick), to the way each performer takes the stage .

Cocktail Magique would not be the show that it is without the comedic stylings of Sam Urdang tying everything together. His showmanship is part fearless leader, part eccentrically entertaining emcee, and amazingly intimate in the way he brings the audience into the performance. Like any good magic show, audience participation is necessary, but the charming, irreverent way that Urdang connects with the audience will have you alternatively blushing and roaring with laughter. While the cozy space definitely invites a sense of camaraderie, Urdang, along with the other performers (who sometimes double as servers), make the show feel like a private party.

Anyone so inclined to get even more out of their evening at Cocktail Magique can opt for the Fortune Teller’s Upgrade. Rosebud, the resident tarot reader, will spirit you away to a secret back room draped all in reds. There, with a warm and inviting demeanor, she will treat you to an intimate, thorough tarot card reading that may or may not peer into your soul. It’s just one more opportunity to add more magique to this already magical experience. 

With their innovative and visually stunning creations, it seems that Company XIV can always be relied on for an excellent night out. Whether you’re ever thought that magic shows could do with just a bit more burlesque, or wished that someone would serve you a cocktail in a coupe glass that descends from the ceiling, Cocktail Magique is a guaranteed riot of a time.

Creator, producer, director, cocktail menu: Austin McCormick

Costume and scenic design: Zane Pihlström

Creative collaborator, additional writing credits: Sam Urdang

Magic Consultants: Todd Robbins & Matthew Holtzclaw

Cast includes: Sam Urdang, Syrena, Kylie Rose, Adam Tabellija, Marley Armstrong, Onyx Noir, Lydia Wilts, Nia Simoné, Rosebud