Old-school thriller fan? Know every Hitchcock movie? Heads up, because the first Hitchcock Pop-Up is coming to Chicago. Hitch*Cocktails, a fully improvised 90-minute comedic thriller in Alfred Hitchcock’s style, commemorates its 10-year anniversary by taking over The Annoyance Theater & Bar in Chicago on May 19 and 20, 2023.
The two-day celebration will feature three special Hitch*Cocktails performances, an immersive Alfred Hitchcock pop-up, a Friday midnight DJ dance party, several specialty cocktails, surprise guests, artistic workshops and collaborations, and more. Audiences can expect masterful improvisation made more challenging by the real cocktails that, in true 1950s fashion, actors are required to drink in every scene. The experience opens at 6:00 pm and tickets are now available for purchase here.
“We are incredibly proud of our decade-long run that pay homage to the king of suspense and his films through genre-based improv,” said Bruce Phillips, executive director of High Stakes Productions, the production company that runs Hitch*Cocktails and other genre-based improv shows in the city. “Which is why we are going all out by bringing audiences deeper into Hitchcock’s famous movies and iconic scenes with an immersive pop-up.”
On Saturday, May 20, audiences can descend beneath the theater itself to the underground penthouse of the “Hitchcock Hotel.” The pop-up opens at 6:00pm and will feature movie rooms, a vintage thrift store, unique craft cocktails and a meet-and-greet with iconic movie characters. Hotel visitors will be ushered upstairs for the 10 p.m. show featuring Chicago’s finest improvisers plotting a murderous tale in tweed suits and broaches.
“As a production company that focuses on genre-based improvisation, it’s great to see audiences still wanting to see our elevated theatrical experience after so many years,” said C.J. Tuor, founder and player. “Our goal is to continue championing genre-based narratives by teaching others our unique approach to this artform.”
Actors who wish to learn more about High Stakes Production’s style of improvisation can attend the artistic workshops that will be offered on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 at The Annoyance. Audiences will also be able to enjoy two unique Hitch*Cocktails performances happening on Friday at 7:30p and 10:00p.
Hitch*Cocktails is a staple of the mainstage at The Annoyance Theatre & Bar. They have headlined at the Ohio Unscripted Festival, was voted “Curator’s Pick” for Genre at the Chicago Improv Festival in 2015, and was named as the “Best Improv/Sketch Group in City” according to the Chicago Reader in 2016. They have also taught workshops around the country on genre improvisation. Therefore, if you’re wondering what to do in Chicago this May, why not add some chill to the heatwave with the very first Hitchcock Pop Up in town?
High Stakes Productions is a premier theater company headquartered in Chicago but with members living all across the country. The company consists of established improvisers, actors, and directors who have performed on Second City’s Maing & Etc. stages, Broadway in Chicago, and more. As a company, they have a strong focus on narrative-driven improv. High Stakes dedicates themselves to reinvigorating classic genre styles to create genuine and daring narrative theatre that is uniquely Chicago, but intriguing to all. Beyond Hitch*Cocktails, you can also see them perform Clued In, the improvised murder mystery, at Second City’s Blackout Cabaret, Saturday, 7:30 PM.
Image Credit: High Stakes Production
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