Has Theater Lost Its Mind? Queen of the Night and Other Immersions


The audience gets treated like royalty at Queen of the Night. After you descend a couple of flights to the basement of New York’s Paramount Hotel, an usher personally escorts you inside a cavernous ballroom-cum-supper club (the refurbished Diamond Horseshoe from the 1930s). For the next half-hour or so, you get free run of the premises, a complimentary drink at the bar and a lot of attention from the slinky, sleekly dressed performers wandering about. You’ll get fondled and fawned over, maybe dragged off for a private encounter, or led to center stage to make an offering to the Queen, who stands regally in a blue sheer gown and wearing a giant white two-faced mask. Eventually, you’re led to one of the communal dinner tables, where you’re fed a surprisingly robust meal of beef ribs, lobster or suckling pig. (Each table gets a different dish, and patrons are…

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