Sam's Tea Shack
Now, THIS is how you do a one-man show!
Hip-hop plays as you enter Sam's Tea Shack at the The Tank's new space on 36th Street and 8th Avenue. You are welcomed by the Chillest Dude Ever Sam Sogher himself, who encourages you to help yourself to some tea...with a shot of whiskey as a bonus, if you like! You get the feeling that he just hit a big joint backstage before you arrived and when everyone's ready, he launches into his hilarious and authentic one-man show.
Photos: Skye Morse-Hodgson
Sam is an extraordinarily charming and smart dude who lets you inside his mind for an hour or so. A few minutes in, you realize that he's a genius and you never want to get out of it. He never loses control of the room, while still making you feel like you're just hanging out a friend's house getting high. Writer Ben Gassman lets Sam's strengths as a performer shine in this piece. This is a brilliant, and extremely refreshing, way to do a one-man show.
Sam went to high school with Lin-Manuel Miranda and gentle hints of jealousy bubble up as he recounts how the "Winner Of Life" was a goody-two-shoes youngster. These stories alone are worth it for anyone with even a passing interest in Hamilton. The best parts of the show, however, are about Sam's childhood in a cinematic 1980s and 1990s New York City, complete with his exploration of his Jewish heritage. He frenetically wanders from one topic to the next but the whole thing is still somehow cohesive and, quite simply, just plain lovely.
It's a super intimate, yet wildly comfortable, experience. Sam implores people to get up and grab more potato chips and alcohol from the refreshment table if they're feeling it and it doesn't feel awkard at all when audience members chime in with questions, thoughts, and concerns at various points.
Leave your pretension at the door...this is just a hangout with your delightful new friend Sam! Sam's Tea Shack is a total A+.
Runs until October 1. Tickets are $12 + 1 drink minimum (they're super inexpensive).
The Broadway musical recorded on film for optimal couch viewing!
There's a reason it won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Musical. It doesn't get fresher and more relevant than this!