Joe’s NYC Bar: The Improv Theater Hit of the Year


My friend, David Rosenberg, is currently performing in the NY premiere of Joe’s NYC Bar. It’s an interactive, improv, immersive theater experience. Highly recommend – and tickets are going fast! It is one of the most entertaining and engaging nights of theater I have ever experienced.  It’s playing in the upstairs space at a bar on the Upper East Side called Ryan’s Daughter @ 350 East 85th Street. (The Snapchat video above is from opening night with Sheri Radel Rosenberg – captures the ambiance.)

A little background: Christian Kelty (a friend of David’s) who is originally from NYC but lives in Orlando, created the concept 15 years ago and first introduced it at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He went on to stage it once or twice a year in various taverns around Orlando.

In 2016, the show was invited to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after one of the Managers of the Festival, Barry Church-Woods, saw it in Orlando. And now, from January 6 through Sunday January 15, it is finally debuting in NYC.

There is no script for the show. The actors, all gifted at improv, create their own characters which are the crux of each night’s performance. Kelty, serves as the bartender in each show but the experience will be different every night based on what is happening in the world and the dynamics of the audience. You also don’t know who is a cast member and who is not – everyone ultimately contributes to the storyline.

On Friday night, for example, a woman sitting near us (who was not part of the cast) lost her ring and a mad search ensued. As it turns out, it was her mother’s ring – and that piece of information formed the genesis of that night’s show. In turn funny and poignant, much was revealed over the next 90 minutes about mothers, family responsibilities and how we communicate with each other. Absolute stellar nite!

Read on below for more details on the show and the actors including musical performances (which are different each nite e.g. on Saturday January 7th, the musical performer was Michelle Shocked). And finally, I must add that this is way better, in my opinion, than Sleep No More, a similarly interactive performance that has been running at the McKittrick Hotel for several years.

And one last tip if you do make it to the show and want to eat in the neighborhood. There is an excellent sushi restaurant, called Poke, directly across the street at 343 East 85th Street. It does not take reservations, is cash only and BYOB!

The sell-out hit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe & Orlando Fringe makes it’s NYC debut. Joe’s NYC Bar, is an immersive, improvisation experience where the audience is invited to interact with the characters. This limited 9-show run will take place at iconic Upper East Side hangout Ryans Daughter from January 6-15, 2017. The cast includes David Rosenberg, Kelly Kinsella, Peter Michael Marino, Frank Cardillo, Julia Register, Adam Sullivan, Walter Michael DeForest, Jenn Gannon, Christian Kelty, Tim Williams & Mark Ferrera.

Live soundtrack provided each night by some of New York City’s finest performers.

$20 in advance (highly recommended); $25 day of show (if available)

FRI 1/6 8pm
SAT 1/7 8pm

SUN 1/8 3pm
MON 1/9 8pm
WED 1/11 8pm
THURS 1/12 8pm
FRI 1/13 8pm
SAT 1/14 3pm
SUN 1/15 3pm


”utterly engrossing”
”imagine Bukowski had written an episode of Cheers”

”incredibly well conceived and executed”
***** British Theatre Guide

”exceptionally acted immersive theatre”
“funny and flawlessly executed”
***** TV Bomb

“immersive and interactive theatre at its best”
“A triumph of improvisation and interaction”
“hugely entertaining and thought-provoking”

“Artistically, watching the actors is watching pros at the top of their game…Sociologically speaking, observing the audience is like peering through a window into America’s soul.”
Orlando Sentinel

“If you want to understand the promise of interactive theatre… take in the triumphant return of Joe’s NYC Bar”
Orlando Weekly

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