Marie’s Crisis: The Best House Party You’ve Ever Been To
Do you live in New York and occasionally feel disconnected from humanity and worried that the world might be breaking? Me too!
Living in New York (and on this planet in general) might be stressful, but it also comes with some built-in coping mechanisms. One of which is Marie’s Crisis Café, the magical piano bar show tune sing-along that happens every night in the West Village.
Marie’s Crisis is more than a piano bar—it’s the best house party you’ve ever been to, with a sweaty tipsy pianist playing nothing but show tunes to which every sweaty, tipsy patron sings along.
Whether you’re a musical theater aficionado or you’ve seen The Lion King once as a toddler, you’ll feel a surge of belonging as you descend the steps into the twinkle-lit basement. “No videos or flash photos…cash only…tip the piano player…” The bouncer’s mumblings fade away as you become enveloped into a room full of strangers belting “Seasons of Love” at the top of their lungs. You suddenly feel more at home than ever as you ask yourself, “How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?” (Spoiler alert: you measure in love.)
Marie’s attracts people from all walks of life—that’s the beauty of it! Did you do musicals in high school but you never got one of the lead roles? It’s your time to shine, my friend! Your voice is probably better than half of the drunkies’ around you. Sing loud and proud—you know that words and that’s half the battle.
Are you afraid you’re tone deaf and you’ve never even seen a musical? Not a problem! Marie’s is a great way to learn songs by lip reading in a fun, non-judgmental environment (for the most part).
There’s at least one woman sitting at the piano who is killing it, just murdering every word and note. You’ll want to stand near her if you have any desire to sing on pitch (not a requirement, but a nice touch).
There’s the guy who thinks he’s killing it, but he’s not.
He gives stink eye and starts breathing heavily every time the crowd mistakenly sings “doo doo doo DOO doo doo doo” during “One” from A Chorus Line. Calm down man, Marie’s is for everyone.
On the weekend, there’s always at least one group of drunk fratty gentlemen who presumably yelped “bars” and haven’t figured out this is not the place for getting chatty with your bros. You don’t get to talk over the music. You are lucky to be here. Soak it in. You’re more than welcome to uncover your repressed creative urges, but please stop trying to circle back with Chad in the middle of “All That Jazz.”
If you don’t know a song, just stand quietly and mouth the words and look for someone else who’s doing the same thing. With any luck, you’ll realize that person is your soulmate in the middle of “Suddenly Seymour” when you both confess to each other you don’t know any of the words except for “SUDdenly Seymour.”
The pianist is an American hero. Not only does he play the same show tunes night after night, but he also has to stand by and listen as his favorite lyrics and tunes are brutally mutilated by whatever chorus of people the West Village has thrown together that night.
That doesn’t stop him from trying to gently conduct the herd of cats swaying to the beats of their own drums. You can tell when he’s out of ideas; that’s when “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King comes out to play. It’s a classic. Even Chad is on board—he thinks he’s hilarious for signing “Pink pajamas penguins on the bottom.”
But nothing connects people like the climactic “One Day More” from Les Miserables—the whole bar is enthused because we’ve managed to keep all five parts of the song going (even the “Watch ‘em run amuck” line) as we get to the big finish. “Tomorrow we’ll discover what our God in Heaven has in store!” (*Dramatic pause* Wow, this is just like the revolution we’re fighting against Trump right now…) “One more dawn” (What if there are Trump supporters here?) “One more day” (That’s insane, we’re all artists! And we’re fighting the good fight together!) “One day…MOOOOOOORE!!” (Ooo that’s a little sharp, but I’m not going to let it ruin my inspirational cry).
No matter who you are, you deserve a Marie’s night. If you haven’t been, you’re only hurting yourself. Restore your faith in humanity today!
Marie’s Crisis is located at: 59 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Here is a link to their website.