Hot Pepper Theater

In August 2014, two crazy people (specifically, PowerOut's Artistic Producers Todd Brian Backus and Ben Ferber) had an idea: “Could theater reviews be both informative and entertaining?” The answer was “Yes!” and also “Oh god, what have we done.” Borrowing the format from the popular YouTube review show Hot Pepper Gaming, episodes unfold thusly:

1. A reviewer eats a really, really spicy pepper (habanero or hotter) or downs an equally spicy shot of hot sauce.
2. They give critical analysis on a theatrical production in New York, a classic script, or an upcoming production.
3. They rate the show, and the pepper, on a scale of 1 to 5. Only then have they earned:
4. The right to drink milk to relieve the searing pain.

Hot Pepper Theater covers Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off ventures, and more. The channel releases four types of videos:

Hot Pepper Theater: Regular episodes, the bulk of releases, are reviews of productions.
Hot Pepper Theater #newplays: Directors, playwrights, and producers eat spicy things and convince audiences to go see their productions.
Hot Pepper Theater Classics: A theater professional eats something spicy and gives a SparkNotes-esque summary of a classic play.
Hot Pepper Theater One-Minute Reviews: A reviewer has 60 seconds to eat a pepper and review a production. This format is usually reserved for long-running shows in New York.

To date, Hot Pepper Theater has released 60 episodes with over 30 different reviewers and had a 1-year anniversary live show at 54 Below. New episodes release bi-weekly. Production goes down for a few weeks when PowerOut is in production mode. Check out our archive of episodes below and stay up-to-date with everything Hot Pepper Theater-related on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’re interested in reviewing for Hot Pepper Theater and are NYC-based, email us!

Hot Pepper Theater - Archive