Mixing It Up with Broadway By The Glass
Have you ever been to a Broadway show and tried their signature cocktail in the bar in the lobby? Theatrely recently had a virtual drink with Kellyann Coyle and Brian Sedita, who took those drinks and are teaching you how to make them on their Instagram, Broadway By The Glass.
Theatrely: What were you both up to before the pandemic started?
Brian Sedita: In the theater industry, at least, I have a podcast called “Pitch to Stage” on the Broadway Podcast Network. And then after quarantine started, I also co-created another show with Michael Kushner called “My Broadway Memory” which is also on the Broadway Podcast Network, which I'm still co-creator of, but have stepped down in terms of my commitment to producing and all that kind of stuff, because quarantine was one thing, and then after that life went back to normal a little bit for me. I don't work in the theater industry anymore.
Kellyann Coyle: For me, pre-pandemic, I'm an actor in the city, dancer first! I did a couple of tours and some regional stuff. I'm also a bartender, my bar has since closed until April. So this passion project has pulled literally the two things that I love doing that I can't do during quarantine together. So it's been so great. And we both just love theater so much. So it's like it's such a fun passion project for us.
T: How did you two meet?
BS: So we actually grew up together! We went to preschool through graduating high school together and have stayed best friends since.
T: When did you two decide to start Broadway by the Glass?
BS: So I'm also a bartender in New Jersey. Honestly, it's so funny, because I had been thinking about doing something like this for a while. And then, I know Kelly was thinking about doing the same thing, and at that point I really didn't have a lot of time to commit to it. But I was like, "you know what? If you want to go ahead without me I will not be offended." And it just ended up working out that when we were going to start this time freed up in some areas of my life so I was able to commit a lot more time to it.
KC: It was literally like the next day, wasn't it? Because I was ready to go and then you were like, "I have time now." And I'm like, "yeah!"
BS: And what I've loved most about this collaboration so far is that Kelly and I haven't really worked together in an artistic or professional sense since high school. So this has been a really great way to connect even more than we normally would have over the past couple of years.
T: Walk me through your process a little bit, how do you get from picking a show to formulating a drink?
KC: Hmmm, well, I feel like when we started out, we were picking random shows and we were like, "OK, so, what's something we could do from Frozen, like maybe an iced drink?" And then I guess we got a little more specific with Christmas. We did a 12 Days of Christmas countdown, and Brian made a full on list of all Christmas shows and Christmas songs. Then we went in and listened to it and tried to get inspiration from it, like if they mention a liquor or what the vibe is. I feel like that's the one thing that we really try to do is get the vibe of the show. So like when you think of super smoky and like dark, that's what you expect when you hear Hadestown.
BS: And I mean, if you're twenty one and above, you might love alcohol. And if you're a Broadway fan, like merging those two things is just lots of fun. How many times do you get drunk and sing show tunes? So this is like the perfect marriage of those two things. And it's creative to like sit down and like craft a cocktail! Like it's not just your normal margarita for Escape to Margaritaville. We're trying to come up with things like where we can introduce people to different kinds of liqueurs and spirits so that it'll also expand people's vocabulary and liquor cabinets.
KC: A little educational! And we're starting to do hopefully every Friday a little history on either a cocktail or explaining a liquor or liqueur and doing like a little education segment on IGTV.
BS: Like, there's so much that we could do with this and so much that we've discussed how we can build and grow as a brand. So every show you go to has a really cool cocktail list and you're excited to go to the bar and look at what they came up with for the shows. So our dream for this would be to create custom opening night cocktails for opening nights on Broadway or around the country and doing cocktail workshops and leading cocktail parties and stuff like that, and maybe getting our cocktails on those Broadway show menus. I think the moment that I first was inspired to do something like this was two years ago. I went to the opening night of Be More Chill and they had and at the after party they had a Squip-tini and it was this Mountain Dew and vodka, and it was smoking because it had dry ice in it. And it was this really cool cocktail that like maybe didn't taste great because Mountain Dew doesn't taste great. But it was so specific to the show and it was that perfect marriage of those two things that I was talking about with alcohol and a Broadway show. And then there's such missed opportunities, like I remember going to the Alice By Heart opening and they didn't do anything with a teacup, like you'd think like a tea cocktail, like Earl Gray Gin. Or there's so many tea inspired cocktails now. And they didn't do anything like that.
T: What's been your favorite drink that you've posted so far?
KC: Oh, my God, lemme see. I loved the "You Go, Glen Coco" and it was a candy cane martini. And I was super excited about it. And I was trying to get inspiration from recipes online. Everyone was going the white chocolate route, which I don't love. So I went in the complete opposite direction and went a little fruity with it. And it literally tasted like a melted down candy cane that you get when you're a kid where it's sweet and minty, but not like in your face, and the garnish was really cute. I put icing around the edge and dipped it in crushed candy cane and it just was so pretty. And it did really well on the page.
BS: My favorite was also from our Christmas series. And it was "She Loves Christmas" and we used the "12 Days of Christmas" from She Loves Me as the backtrack to it. And we went to the nine days of Christmas and that's what day we did it on. It's a vodka elderflower liqueur, which is my absolute favorite liqueur, Aperol, lemon juice and simple syrup. And it's something that honestly, I've made for so many of my friends when they come over to my house now that they're like, "you need to bottle this!" And it's delicious and it's sweet and sour and it's good and it hits hard.
T: Is there anything on the horizon that we can look forward to seeing?
BS: We're partnering with some Broadway box subscriptions to get our cocktails in their boxes like little postcards with cocktails and a mocktail. And then you'll scan like a QR code to exclusive videos with us doing a workshop on that cocktail. So a little more than our social media might give you. You have an exclusive link. And then we're going to be releasing some merchandise in the spring. There's many references to liquor throughout the Broadway musical theater canon. So we're going through that and picking out our favorite things to design and hopefully by March we'll have that up and running. So we're kind of trying to build that brand so that by the time Broadway comes back, we can really hop on. There's so much content out there because there's so many artists that are looking for something meaningful to do during this time. Yeah, there's so much exploding, and hopefully there's so many things that we want to take outside of this time of quarantine back to like normal times. I mean, theatre is all about connecting, and honestly, for us, when you go out to a bar and connect with people over a drink, it's the same kind of connection that you can have at the theater.