Part rock opera, part masquerade, the show is very loosely based on Mozart’s “Magic Flute” and centers on the titular Queen and her daughter Panima’s sexual awakening. Dress to the nines and sit back as a crew of androgynous performers perform aerobatic tricks and musical numbers around you. The show aims to close the gap between actor and audience, so don’t be surprised if performers ask you to dance, go to a private room to whisper about the meaning of life and love or even observe a ritualized milk bath. It’s all just a part of the show.
Only a place as decadent as the Paramount Hotel's subterranean nightclub, Diamond Horseshoe, could be fitting for a queen. Back in the 1930s, the club hosted some of the greatest vaudeville acts, showgirls and performers in the world—a highlight of New York society before the show closed in the ‘50s. Half a century later, developer Aby Rosen would put over $20 million into its restoration to create the world’s premiere immersive theater. Wander the halls of the hotel before the show to tour over six thousand feet of decayed decadence, including grand chandeliers, exotic art, bejeweled leopard statues, trick drawers and detailed designs that nearly overwhelm the senses. And that’s before the show.
Warning: this show is not for the shy. In fact, “audience-driven” and “interactive” are understated words with which to describe Queen of the Night, where sensory overload is common. Expect to be casually touched, stroked, sniffed and kissed by a performer (depending on how open you are). Guests are encouraged to mingle and move beyond communal tables, so you’ll be sure to get friendly with more people than just the performers.
Intermission is usually a time you scramble to the concession stands to grab some peanuts or potato chips. Here, servers visit your table with birdcages full of cooked lobsters, spits of roast pig and stacks of tender short ribs. If you’re a vegetarian, that’s ok too. Queen of the Night encourages you to barter with your neighbors for different food, making this a communal, exciting and luxurious dining experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Saying the show has received glowing reviews is a bit of an understatement. The Huffington Post calls it a cross between Cirque du Soleil and Eyes Wide Shut. New York Magazine says it’s “a surprisingly intimate experience: not in that dim corridor with the acrobat, but in the dimness of my own philosophy and heart.” Critics love its boundary-crossing, unusual antics but again we must preface: this show is not for the faint of heart.
The Queen of the Night marks the height of decadence in the NYC theater scene, but the show offers tiered tickets so that everyone can enjoy this unique and exciting experience. Reserve your gala ticket and enjoy a welcome cocktail, appetizers, dinner as well as full decanters of wine during the meal. For those looking for an even more luxurious experience, choose a premium option for free-flowing drinks and private cocktail service at your VIP reserved table, or the ultimate package to earn backstage access and be served by the executive chef himself.
No matter the option you choose, you’ll certainly be feeling like a queen by the end of the night after this immersive and incredible experience.