Forget the iPhone 5. It’s Charlie Hall 6.0.
Rhode Island’s favorite funnyman, whom many in the Ocean State know as a successful stand-up comedian, comedy club owner and manager, TV courtroom artist, award-winning political cartoonist, caricaturist and producer of two long-running cabaret shows, Ocean State Follies and Mass Hysteria, is at it again.
On Friday, Oct. 12, Hall harkens back to his RISD roots and opens a new business that involves canvas, cocktails and, of course, some comedy.
Drink and Dabble, a traveling art party, debuts at the Italian-American Grille in North Providence and will continue on into Warwick and Bristol. It’s part of a new paint and sip industry that seems to be taking over the country, filling up empty bars and function rooms on off-nights.
“It’s a new trendy night out where groups, dates, housewives and teambuilding companies gather at some hip venue, sip on wine or cocktails, turn up the music a bit and create a painting,” said Hall. “And it doesn’t matter if you have no artistic ability, because there’s an instructor there who’ll show you just what to do. Me! It’s fun and a great way of meeting new people.”
Hall got the idea late one night while watching a reality show where two people were sent on a date to a paint and sip place in Los Angeles. He Googled the venue and found 10 pages of similar events all over the country. After taking in three paint and sips in Massachusetts, Hall was hooked.
“I can do this! Plus I’m funny!”
Patrons register online (drinkanddabble.com) paying $40 per session (“but there are half-price coupons everywhere,” says Hall). They arrive at 6:30 p.m., when they get a cocktail, maybe order an appetizer, are given a smock, acrylic paint, brushes and a seat at a table with an easel and a canvas. Drink and Dabble supplies it all. Everyone paints the same painting. After two hours or so – with ample breaks, instruction and laughs – the would-be Picassos emerge with their own 16” x 20” masterpieces that they get to take home.
Hall has had to get it all together in about a month, despite spending a few days in the hospital a few weeks ago.
“I had a heart attack. A blockage right there in one of my most important arteries. It’s my Italian genetics, I guess. I told the doctor to save some money on the stent and use a small piece of penne.”
Besides the Italian-American Grille, Drink and Dabble will be traveling monthly to the Eleven Forty Nine Restaurant in Warwick and weekly to Redlefson’s in Bristol. Other venues are welcome to join in. To reserve a spot and to check out the schedule, log onto www.drinkanddabble.com.