Thursday, November 12, 2009

flappers and philosophers

If you live in Boston, you have to see Sleep No More. I went tonight, and I can't even begin to describe how amazing it is to you! It's a performance based on Macbeth and set in the 1920s. It's held in an abandoned school just outside of Brookline Village. I didn't know what to expect when I went but I am completely blown away and am definitely going again.
When you arrive, you enter a casablanca-type lounge with a bar serving rum punch. The bartenders and ladies are completely in character. You are given a white mask which you must wear throughout the entire show and a card from a deck. When your number is called, you are allowed to enter. (they nicely give out the same number to groups so we all got to go in together). You're taken up in an elevator and then released into the school.
It is so surreal. Everyone is wearing a white mask except for the actors. The actors are dressed in beautiful clothes from the 20s and 30s. Every room on every floor of the building is elaborately furnished and decorated. Some of the rooms are beautiful. Some of them are creepy. All of them have boxes and books and notes you are supposed to look inside of. Some look like rooms in houses, others like bizarre installations. It is just beyond cool. 
My two favorite rooms: The school's old auditorium, which has been filled with real pine trees, glowing blue light, orchestra music, and fog. And in the basement, one of the small boiler rooms has been turned into a beautifully cluttered child's room (the details are impeccable, right down to vintage crayola crayons and a notebook filled with horticulture type flower drawings laying on the bed, a lit dollhouse, and a giant rocking horse).
The actors are running throughout the rooms and floors the whole night, and you can choose to follow them and see what happens or stay behind and wander through the rooms. The actors never speak - it's all performed physically and emotionally. When you finally leave, you exit into the casablanca bar, which is now in full swing with a billie holiday-esque singer performing on stage with some men and a piano.
It. was. so. good. 
I can't wait to go again. I had to tell all of you in case you are in the area, and in that case, you just HAVE to go!!!
I also saw Neko Case last night, and she was amazing, per usual. Her concert was held at the Wilbur Theater (no seating on the floor), and my friend and I were lucky enough to be right at the stage! I loved it.
I hope you're all having an excellent week!


A Painted Journey said...

oh my gosh, that sounds like so much fun! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time... It sounds like something I might have to come into the city for!! Love Mumsy

WoolenSails said...

That sounds like a fun type of theater.
I rarely go into the city, I am city phobic;)


madeleine said...

sounds magical in every sense of the word. ive got my fingers crossed something like that happens here one day.
and you saw Neko Case! Very jealous =)


amy said...

Hi Amanda, When i was on your blog last week I saw this post and as my boyfriend was in Boston for a trade show I sent it to him. I guess it was on his list to see already but he went an he LOVED it. He isn't usually a guy to see a show or even a movie more than once and he wants to see it again. Actually he wants both of us to fly out to Boston for 2 days in a couple weeks just to see the show. Thanks for a good recommendation. i'll share more once I have seen it.

amy said...

Saw it twice. wish i could move to boston and go every night until it closes.
more when i can spend more time at my computer.