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October 27, 2014
Review: A Brief History of Beer
Photo credit: Richard Winpenny.
Photo credit: Richard Winpenny.

Grab a pint of your favorite ale and go UNDER St. Marks for a little time traveling with Wish Experience’s “drinkeractive comedy,” A Brief History of Beer. Set aboard the “Quantum Pint Machine” (yes, really) in a sort of Star Trek parody, complete with costumes reminiscent of the original series, the play stars Trish Parry and William Glenn as captains on a voyage deep into the 10,000-year long history of beer. We start with a hilarious glimpse at a caveman couple who discover the very first iteration of beer, then visit ancient Sumeria, the Middle Ages, and 18th-century England, before traveling to the 20th century including Prohibition and, puzzlingly, the 1960s.

As you can see, A Brief History of Beer happens to very informative. Trish and Will tell us how beer was discovered, show us the way it is made, and tell us facts such as how historically most brewers were women (girl power!) and clergy (yay church!). It also apparently has a moral: Drink beer, but don’t drink bad beer, e.g., Budweiser or any other globally owned beer company. This show is clearly motivated by the glut of beer conglomerates choking the beer superhighway.

It also happens to be a pretty silly excuse to drink beer while listening to a pseudo lecture on the very beverage you are drinking. Each ticket, in fact, entitles audience members to a free can of Six Point, so you will at least be on your way to becoming intoxicated enough to follow along with the ridiculous antics of Will and Trish. These antics include making sure everybody group drinks whenever the Quantum Pint Machine is running low on fuel, having the audience shout and scream like maniacs whenever the machine takes off to a new era and, well, drinking beer at just about any opportunity. These folks love beer. In fact, I think they love it a little too much; at times, it seems as though the show is running a wee bit off course.

A Brief History of Beer is the ultimate tribute to Homer Simpson’s favorite drink and anyone who appreciates beer would find it amusing. And if you don’t like beer, like my theater companion, you can just drink sake.

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Written by: Tami Shaloum
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