As college theater minors and performing arts enthusiasts, there is no better city than NYC to serve as our playground for uncovering the most unique theater experiences. We love a good Broadway show, but sometimes we get that acting fever and want to be part of the play. Luckily, we’re able to do this through immersive theater, which in our opinion is one of NYC’s most exciting “new” trends since you can do it with cocktails and it requires no rehearsal time.
We got our tickets for Speakeasy Dollhouse Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic about a week in advance and immediately started planning our 1920’s costumes. that’s right – you must dress the part! Well you don’t actually have to, but it makes the night a lot more fun. Our first stop in the flapper attire quest: goodwill, where we found a black fringe dress, black fringe skirt and a pair of gold strappy heels, which was perfect! Then we headed over to East Village to piece together the rest of our vintage look with hats, feathers, wraps, jewelry and purses.
The night finally arrived, and since the show is held in a secret, historic theater in times square and has been shuttered since prohibition ended, it was a bit difficult to locate. we were told to look for the Liberty Diner and upon entering through the back door were asked to provide our password “chandelier”. However, the cab driver dropped us off about an avenue away, so donned in our flapper duds, we casually dodged times square tourists left and right who thought we were part of the street entertainment.
Upon entering the diner, we received our passports and roles for the play and were transported to The Roaring 20’s. the gorgeous, vintage theater was dimly lit and vibrant jazz music played in the background as actors and actresses in full character and costume buzzed around interacting with theatergoers. we were served signature cocktails such as the “Black Death” and “Sweet Syphilis” and explored the theater a bit before settling into our wonderful, front row seats.
The show is based on the true story of the beautiful actress, Olive Thomas, who mysteriously died in 1920 by drinking mercury bichloride in Paris during her belated honeymoon. The on-stage show features lavish showgirls and burlesque, musical performances and aerial arts, but it would be a mistake not to partake in the off-stage show as well. During intermissions, guests are invited to “board the ship to Paris” and enter the hotel Ritz where you can begin to uncover the truth behind Olive’s murder, and this is where the acting comes into play. We were given the roles of prominent novelists and were told to find Mr. Ziegfeld himself, which we did on the theater balcony. After a long conversation with him about “his future book deal”, he actually gave us an assignment to go and get information for him from another character!
We LOVED this show and definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and different theater experience. If you aren’t into being part of the performance, you don’t have to! it’s great because you can really choose your level of participation. this show runs through the end of August on Friday and Saturday nights, so get your tickets now for an unforgettable experience!
Thanks Speakeasy Dollhouse for the tickets to the fabulous immersive theater show!