'Cocktail Magique' review — cue the alcohol and the abracadabra

Read our five-star review of CocktaiL Magique, Company XIV's burlesque variety show playing at the Cocktail Magique Theatre in Brooklyn through August 20.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Adulthood is all about rediscovering the things you loved when you were younger with fresh, mature eyes. Think pairing your favorite snacks with a glass of wine or finally noticing all the adult jokes in animated movies.

The burlesque troupe Company XIV fills that niche in the live-theatre realm. The latest offering from the creators of Nutcracker Rouge, a sexy Nutracker adaptation that's returned every holiday season for a decade, is Cocktail Magique. Months since its premiere last September, this hedonistic spectacular is still running as strong as its drinks.

This show borrows from the playbook of circuses and magic shows, adding a sensual flair with adults-only elements. Chief among them, as the title suggests, is booze.

Sam Urdang, as the show's de facto emcee, kicks things off by pouring forth seemingly bottomless champagne — or at least enough for everyone in the 62-seat venue to get a glass — from a miniature bottle.

That act is emblematic of the two-hour event at large. Cocktail Magique keeps audiences well-quenched with a series of delicious cocktails throughout; you'd do well to use the water fountain during the two intermissions and eat all the provided snacks. You can also purchase more drinks and treats at the in-house bar, but you won't necessarily need to, especially if you buy an upgraded ticket that includes extra libations.

Speaking of the bar, the one you buy from is separate from a longer bartop that serves as the Cocktail Magique stage. Every seat is a prime one to watch — and potentially get called on to assist — as company members perform vaudevillian variety acts atop it: balancing acts, songs, and of course, magic. Most of these also incorporate some degree of striptease. The alcohol isn't the only reason this event is 21+.

Company XIV turned a Bushwick bar into the bespoke Cocktail Magique Theatre (located across the street from its equally intimate, ornate home base, Théâtre XIV) for the show. As with all the company's shows, the actors and the venue are decked out in neo-Baroque-inspired flair — think Gilded Age-level glamour in rich, royal colors. Cocktail Magique is a feast for the eyes from the second you enter, even before the music and drinks intoxicate the ears and taste buds along with them.

There truly is nothing else like Cocktail Magique in New York. Cheers to Company XIV for creating one of the city's most spectacular, fun, and unique nights out.

Cocktail Magique is at the Cocktail Magique Theatre. Get Cocktail Magique tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Photo credit: Kylie Rose in Company XIV's Cocktail Magique. (Photo by Deneka Peniston)

Originally published on

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