Last July, I reviewed the erotic Queen of The Night. Since it was nominated for a Drama Desk Award, I went back to see if what I experienced still held true and let me tell you, the answer is a resounding yes. With a few tweaks I give you the original review.
Be delightfully aware as you enter into a cross between Eyes Wide Shut meets Cirque du Soleil. Venture down into Queen of The Night,the most decadent evening in town. For those who are touch-a-phobic, this may not be the place for you, as you are cajoled into abandoning yourself to your sensual side. You will be stroked, inhaled, intensely gazed upon and shown your basest desires by lithe, acrobatic and beautiful young bodies who purr into your ear, while starting your pulse to race. You will leave feeling desired. I spent about five hours being entertained by this interactive, beautiful and intimate dining experience.
The night begins as attendees, mostly dressed in their finest, wait at a velvet-roped entrance as a doorman ushers you into a private event. You will be told what to wear, when to be at a certain location and you will quickly experience new things and make new friends, if only for a night. You will need to come with an open mind. As you descend down a marble staircase by a nubile young thing, you enter the lavishly restored Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe nightclub in the basement of the Paramount Hotel. On the stairs you are offered libation to ease your inhibitions. Once in the main room don’t be surprised if you are led off into a private chamber for some intimate talk meant to sweep away all reservations. I had four encounters. The first was being taken to the Queen herself. As I ascended the stairs we had an intense gaze off. The look was of lust and desire, that I met it head on. I was told I was worthy. The second one led me into a darkened alcove as my captor whispered for me to think of my happiest moment and see it in the mirror. As I did, she stroked me with a feather and told me how loved and beautiful I was. The second was a hot man who smelled of perfumed oil. He led me to a tower where I had a view of the entire room. He put oil on me and inhaled me from head to toe. He was so seductive, I did not object. The last one was a man dressed in a tux. I started talking to him as he told me he came here often. He was unrequitedly in love with a dancer. I thought he was one of the guests and completely believed him. It turned out he was one of the leads. If you have seen the Story of O, or read anything by A. N. Roquelaure you will feel like this is a PG version or a prequel to them.
As the show starts, you are witnesses to a romantic, hedonistic, insane rave-orgy and are served the most delicious food during the intermissions. Dinner at my table was kale salad and potato au gratin with mammoth sized, mouthwatering Leg of Lamb on a huge wooden platter. Other tables were served a Salmon Wellington, Roasted Chicken and a vegetarian mushroom risotto. Kudos to chef Jason Kallert. One of the elements of this is to trade food with other tables, since we had the lamb the other tables came to us and a feast was had. King Henry the VIII never had it this good.
Your eyes are everywhere as the show continues. The show has elaborate gymnasts hurtling through small hoops suspended from the ceiling, a man juggling (magnificent), burlesque, acrobatic feats performed by men and women hanging above the dining room like perfectly crafted human chandeliers. The script involves characters modeled from Mozart’s “Magic Flute” where you are the invited guest at the initiation of the Queen’s daughter.
As the show ends you are invited to slow dance and are fed spoonfuls of a sinful chocolate treat that makes you feel like you just received communion of a sexual kind.
The Queen of The Night is flawlessly directed by Christine Jones (American Idiot, the Metropolitan Opera’s Rigoletto) and is brought to you by Randy Weiner and the crew who brought you Sleep No More and The Box. The choreography for clearing the tables by Jennifer Rubell is quite clever. The set and scent design by Douglas Little has one feeling immersed into the play and the choreography by Lorin Latarro is fun and inventive.
Here are some hints to have the best experience ever:
1: Dress to kill and no matter what time your reservation is, get there before 7 as you will want as much time as you can inside.
2: Be adventurous and meet new people.
3: Do not just accept what is served at your table; if you see something you want, go after it. You have a giant plate, go fill it up!!
General admission tickets begin at $175 and include a cocktail and full dinner with unassigned seating. For $450 you get to select your own premium wine and have special canapés in the kitchen.
This is a show not to be missed and I highly recommend it for a relationship that wants to move to the next level, an anniversary or a bachelor or bachelorette party. My only regret was I was not there with a lover.
Queen of the Night: Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel, 235 West 46th St.