Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sleep No More | NYC

This past weekend I embarked on a road trip with friends to New York City. A large group of us, Bostonians and New Yorkers alike had tickets to experience Punchdrunk's production of Sleep No More a Macbeth meets Hitchcock inspired immersive theatrical play where audience members adorn white masks and explore some 100 rooms set in a six story West 27th Street Chelsea Warehouse.
It's tough to grasp at first. I'll do my best to explain. The story itself is based on classic text, but even if you know nothing whatsoever about Macbeth (raises hand) this is not going to negatively impact your experience in the slightest. This is definitely not a one-dimensional Shakespearean-lovers production. What it is, is an open-minded, adventure seekers theatrical based dream world.

"Our infectious format rejects the passive obedience usually expected of audiences." ~Punchdrunk

Actor and actress performances range from gentle ensembles through expression and gesture, to physically demanding contemporary dance and movement routines. All the while an eerie, haunting soundtrack plays as you are roaming about this abandoned warehouse, where each room has undergone a massive transformation (think: spooky hospital, bloody bedrooms, a dark graveyard, a hotel lobby, an apothecary, a sweet shop, okay, there's 100 rooms, you get the idea) installed with 1930's based and antique influenced furniture and props.
To quote an introductory welcome message "fortune favors the brave" and while I'll admit it can be seemingly scary at times, it's all in the name of art and defying the norms. Photographs are not allowed and the masks are worn by the audience at all times to encourage anonymity, curiosity and freedom. Check your coats, wear comfortable shoes and pay no attention to the friends you entered with, but do pay attention to the details as you venture off on your own to discover dark mysterious spaces and character scenes as they unfold before you.
Having been to this production in its Boston debut last year (set in an abandoned 4 story school in Brookline) it was absolutely one of the most fascinating, awe inspiring, reality defying, sensory enlightening experiences, ever, and easily worth a trip to New York City alone. The second time time around the show surpassed my expectations in every sense of the word.

If you want to learn more, check out this write up in The New York Times, this one in The Wall Street Journal as well as this interview with one of the producers.

Really, everyone should go experience this. Book a ticket now (if they aren't already sold out?) and hop the next train to NYC.

{photo 1 source}
{photo 2 source}
{photo 3 source}

New York City food and drink: coming soon.

26 comments:

  1. Wow. It looks like a great show. I want to go!

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  2. Wow, I've never heard anything like this! So cool. I'm ashamed to say I haven't been to NYC in 2 years.EEk! But looking forward to your food and drink reviews since I'll be there in June!

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  3. This looks SO interesting! I can't wait to hear more about it!

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  4. I saw this in Brookline last year! It was really crazy, and Leah and I still talk about it all the time. We'll hear a song or see a hotel and think "this really should be in Sleep No More." I'm glad you liked it.

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  5. G hasn't caught me up yet so thanks for the post!!! I've been wanting to know how the weekend was. Can't wait for the food post : )

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  6. Sounds so creepy!!! But interesting!

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  7. i still can't get over this concept. what a mastermind of creative art! do you get to keep the white masks!?

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  8. Okay this is cool. I can't wait to see the FOOD!!

    xo,
    C

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  9. That is so so so awesome!! I'd love to go to a show like that!

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  10. Dude cool, I like the idea of mask and total freedom! That way you can be free with emotions without being embarressed

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  11. Wow, that sounds amazing and unlike any production I've ever seen. So glad you got to go!

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  12. That sounds pretty awesome! I had no idea it was in Boston, but now I wish I did!

    Sues

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  13. If only it were so easy to hop on a train to NYC - I'd do it SO much. But a 5-6 hour flight is a bit of a different story.

    This really sounds like a fabulous production! I hope I can catch it at some point.

    Have a wonderful weekend Daisy!

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  14. PS - definitely check out TAO in NYC if you are looking for an awesome restaurant!

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  15. That sounds really really interesting. I'm going to look into it for sure.

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  16. I love going to NYC! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!

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  17. We agree! We have a theater review here (http://womensvoicesforchange.org/theater-review-sleep-no-more-%e2%80%94-such-stuff-as-dreams-are-made-on.htm), by Alexandra MacAaron. It is interesting and we suggest it as well.

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