Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Rum They Drink in "The God of Carnage"

"The God of Carnage," the Yasmina Reza comedy of bad manners about four adults behaving like children, has been a hit on Broadway for a year now, and I've wondered for some time why the rum industry hasn't taken advantage of the fact that, in this high-profile production, the characters partake very liberally and vocally of a bottle of high-end rum.

The exact rum in question is English Harbor Reserve 10 Year Old, an Antigua rum that everyone in the play roundly praises as nectar from the Gods. According to the Internet, a bottle of the stuff, which is a blend of 10- to 25-year-old rums, goes for a whopping $177.

Liquor makes regular appearances in Broadway plays and musicals. As a plot furtherer, there's nothing like it; people tend to do things and say things while under the influence that they wouldn't otherwise. But rum is a peculiar choice. Reza's play was originally set in France (the playwright is French), where, perhaps, rum is a more popular drinking choice than it is here. But in the U.S.—and the Broadway production of "Carnage" is set in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn—when someone pulls out a fancy bottle for straight sipping, it's usually Scotch or Bourbon. Maybe Cognac, if the drinkers are more old-school dignified. But rum? Who does that, except the most schooled liquor enthusiasts?

Given the uniqueness of the situation, I advise the rum industry to make hay of the situation, before the play closes and the moment is lost.

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