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‘Bye Bye Liver: The Drinking Play’ exactly what it sounds

May 25, 2012

Published in Metro

All bar-goers will recognize them: That girl who should never ever drink alcohol (but does), the power-tripping bouncer at the door, that awkward could-be couple who both need a few shots to loosen up.

“These people are frighteningly universal,” says Byron Hatfield, creator of “Bye Bye Liver,” a sketch comedy show about drinking culture. “It’s a play on how we use alcohol to influence our behavior at bars, whether it’s winning over romance or trying to get a laugh out of somebody.”

The premise works anywhere — thus the show’s five-year success in Chicago, and its spread to eight major U.S. cities. Hatfield adapts the show for each market and has been here for months researching.
“In Boston you’ve got a lot of really nice local breweries, and people drink well,” he says. “There’s nice wine in just regular pubs, which is something you don’t find in a lot of cities.”

Hatfield wants to make one thing clear: “The show is a satire, it’s not a celebration of overindulgence. Getting drunk for one night and doing something stupid is funny; getting drunk for the 20th night in a row is not.”

The show’s humor will resonate with crowds because it speaks to experiences everyone’s had, Hatfield explains.

“I feel like people laugh the most when they’re laughing at themselves,” he says. “And alcohol provides people with ample opportunity to do that.

“The level of talent I’ve found in Boston is hilarious,” says Hatfield. His cast includes MIT and Brown graduates, as well as a Shakespearean actor. “It’s the most well-educated cast I could ever have for a sketch show. Only in Boston.”

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