The last four days have been nothing short of a whirlwind!
For those of you who missed it, Scott surprised me with a trip to New York City for my 30th birthday! I knew we were going somewhere, but I had no idea it would be a plane ride over to a huge city full of surprises and quality time with long lost friends. It was such a blast!
Since we packed a lot into our trip, I’m going to break up the highlights with a few posts this week. From professional shows to searching for “the best” New York cheesecake, all of our plans in the short amount of time we were there went by pretty quickly. Today, I wanted to pick back up where I last left you guys and cover the shows!
Before we arrived, Scott let my middle school bestie, Lauren, know that we would like to see a couple of shows while we were in the city. Lauren is a performer (a Rockette, actually… live all of our dreams, right?), so she was in charge of hunting down discount tickets for shows she wanted to see, too.
First up was the closing of my actual birthday on Saturday with a 10 p.m. showing of Fuerza Bruta. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was told that we could possibly get wet and would be standing up throughout the entire performance.
Fuerza Bruta is an off-Broadway interactive experience different from others I’ve seen before.
The venue is basically a warehouse rigged with visuals that will blow your mind. The audience is asked to interact throughout the show, and we were directed to stand up, sit down, and move about the space to clear paths for performers and bigger props from act to act.
The very first scene opened with a drum sequence, extremely high winds, and people blowing around on top of us. As each act went on, the danger and level of amazement just kept growing!
Fuerza Bruta is not for people who just want to sit and enjoy a show from a distance. As a crowd member, you are in the center of the action and flooded with a front row seat into visual madness.
My favorite part of the show was the transparent pool above our heads. The segment went a little longer than expected, but it was pretty freaking cool. Four women move into the pool, slip and slide around, and even body slam right on top of you. At one point, the screen lowers down close enough for you to touch. It was trippy.
The show ended with a dance party that could have been huge if the audience was a bit more into it. Regardless, we were having a great time!
If you end up going to see this one, enjoy, but be prepared to be on your feet with your neck cocked up the entire time. If you’re standing in the center, you could very well get drenched at the end, too. Just a heads up!
After a fun but long day of travel, Scott and I were pretty tired once we woke up on Sunday. We stayed with Lauren in Astoria and all took our time getting back to the city for another day of shows and exploring.
Around 2:30 p.m., we got off the subway and walked over towards the New York City Center.
We met a friend of hers who was able to score us a group of discounted tickets to see the very last afternoon showing of Sequence 8.
Sequence 8 (properly titled for the eight cast members) is a Montreal-based acrobatics team that seamlessly blends circus arts with modern dance. The show included a lot of aerial acrobatics, which Scott and I found highly impressive. The Russian bar routine was a blend of what you would expect to see on a trampoline and balance beam. We couldn’t believe some of the tricks they pulled out!
After a three year tour, we caught the closing show. Knowing it would be their very last performance, all performers made sure to hit all of their stunts or re-try everything until they did. We were very impressed at all of their balances, stunts, and overall sequence of the show!
I’m not sure if there are any plans of a return to the show, but if it does and you are in a city where you can catch a performance, I would highly recommend it.
Queen of the Night
We didn’t spend much time walking the city before we hopped back on the subway towards Lauren’s house in order to get ready for the main event that night.
Unbeknownst to me, Scott and Lauren planned to get a party together to go see Queen of the Night at the Paramount Hotel!
I literally had no idea what we were walking into. I was told to get dressed up, that we would be having dinner, and to keep an open mind. That’s it.
We made our way through the entrance and picked up a set of keys we had to wear around our necks for the remainder of the night. We were told to head downstairs and entered into what I would describe as a parallel universe.
Decorations went from a run-down warehouse to a fancy theatre room with extravagant details. The lower we went, the more themed-out and decorated the spaces became. We were asked to refrain from flash photography, so I apologize in advance for any blurry photos.
It’s tricky to sum up the full experience of the show into words. It’s truly is one of a kind. If I had to take a stab at it, I would say it is a saucy blend of modern dance, new-age circus, burlesque, and enchanting madness.
Our party reserved a Gala table. Here, we were served a bottle of champagne, endless wine, and eventually a feast for dinner.
From the very first moment you walk into the theatre, you are a part of the show. Once again, you have to have a very open mind to attend this one! It isn’t out of the ordinary to be whisked away by a cast member and asked to complete scandalous tasks, and you are told to say yes to everything.
We set our stuff down at our table and had about a half an hour to explore the space before the show started. There was so much going on! As showtime approached, we took our seats and enjoyed the circus.
The entire show was incredibly unique, original, and captivating. The story line is definitely out there, but like I said, if you are open to the arts, you’ll enjoy it.
The performers swing on the ceilings, contortion on your tables, and do insane stunts throughout the night. Some reserve VIP tickets, but there isn’t a bad seat in the house. No matter where you sit, you are close to the stage and get to interact with the performers.
All of the Queen’s guests receive a welcome cocktail, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a full sit-down dinner with wine. Gala or cocktail attire is required!
After an intro of performances, dinner is served as a smorgasbord of lobsters in cages, entire roasted pigs, and short ribs. Every table receives a different meat, and you can ask to trade some of your meat for a different one at other tables.
Our table got the caged lobster, which clearly wasn’t going anywhere!
I’ve never gotten the opportunity to actually pick out a lobster and tear it apart like that.
Bibs were obviously a great idea!
If there were forks available, we completely missed them. We had sides of corn on the cob, potatoes, and a delicious kale salad, all consumed with our hands and lots of napkins. It all felt very barbaric, yet awesome.
While the show ended a couple of hours later, the venue stayed open with music and a clear dance floor until early morning hours. The group of us decided to hang around for the remainder of the night and had an absolute blast dancing the night away. It was so fun!
The Queen of the Night is unlike anything I have ever seen before, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to go! It was the perfect birthday present. The price we paid was easily justifiable with the delicious food, amazing performance, and truly once in a lifetime experience!
Thank you for making me feel like a queen for the night, Scott (and friends)! <3
More from our New York trip coming soon…