The Show Must Go On: How The Wine and Theater Worlds Serviced Hungry Patrons

Broadway Wine Club / Photo Courtesy Broadway Wine Club

If you had asked me two years ago what the connection was between wine and theater, I might have said “Probably some song in Hamilton?” (My apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda.) But when Broadway turned off its lights in March 2020, and wine and hospitality businesses across the country had to close up shop for an undetermined time, a real point of convergence emerged: philanthropy.

Just as sommeliers and restaurant workers sprang to action through the United Sommeliers Foundation and Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, the Broadway Wine Club tapped into thirsty theater lovers’ desire to help.

In addition to getting bottles of wine, club members have access to virtual events where they can discuss theater and sometimes hang with the stars. Fore each membership, $10 goes to The Actors Fund, which provides emergency funds, housing and other services to anyone who works in the theater.

It’s a natural connection, because people often drink wine while they watch theater or talk about a show while they drink wine, but it seemed to me like there was a little more to it. I turned to an expert to help put my finger on it.

Broadway Wine Club

“Pre-Covid, I think restaurants were just as much entertainment as they were nourishment,” says Devra First, a restaurant critic for The Boston Globe. “There’s something kind of theatrical and scripted, and then also improvisational, about the interaction between the sommelier and the guest.”

And in that respect, the connection has been present all along. In a time when we’re all desperate to find silver linings, the wine and theater worlds coming together in a more solid and institutional way is something worth toasting. And as it become safer for restaurants and theaters to open back up, we, like Alexander Hamilton, will sing, “We are waiting in the wings for you.”

Published on April 21, 2021
Topics: Culture Issue