2007_01_arts_shakespeare.jpgIt seems that alcohol and theater started off hand in hand. Just picture Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors being performed in the 1500's, audience slugging down pints (and probably chewing on drumsticks and meat pies!) - seems accurate, right? Never has a want for alcohol overcome us mid-play, but it's probably not a bad idea in some cases. Apparently there are theaters in London that serve alcohol, a growing trend of mixing pub culture with playhouse art across the pond.

"The interest in blending a thirst for beer with the thespian arts has been a fixture of the London fringe theater scene since the 1970s and now scores of the capital's pubs do it.

A pub in a former Birmingham stock exchange has become the latest creative outlet for budding playwrights, actors and established artists trying out new material.

Pub theatres stage anything from comedies, pantomimes and musicals dreamed up by promising new writers to established works like Shakespeare and Arthur Miller in often tiny rooms.

Enthusiasts say the intimate relationship between actors and the audience in confined spaces makes for an exciting experience. It also costs a lot less than a show at a theater in London's glitzy West End.

British film stars such as Hugh Grant and Rupert Graves used to tread the boards at the pioneering King's Head pub theater in London -- considered the granddaddy of the genre -- before going on to fame on the silver screen."

So let's get on it, New York. Big pints of beer during Shakespeare in the Park, hot toddy's for something a little more posh on a cold night, whiskey at a Tennessee Williams's play...and there's no way we're not drinking some red wine (out of the bottle, thank you) during the first ever production of Jack Kerouac's "Beat Generation" (supposedly happening this year at The Box). Then again, maybe we're not privy to some pub theaters that already exist here...?