Friday, August 9, 2013


I'm not really one for audience participation, but the recent trend of really excellently integrated transmedia/immersive theatre experiences has gotten me to come out of my shell a little more. I let Macbeth cry on my shoulder at Sleep No More. I wanted to dance with Imelda at Here Lies Love. It's enough to lull someone into a false sense of interactive theatre security.

Still, I was a bit wary when I decided to dive in and experience The Orion Experience, an interactive dance party/theatrical experience at XL Nightclub. All I knew going in was there there would be aerial acrobatics, some space jams, and space vampires, whatever those were. Luckily, there was a bar and I had the perfect companion to enjoy the night with.

And even with some skepticism at first, The Orion Experience proved to be a fun night on the town. It's pure technicolor camp, a kind of PeeWee's Play House in space with whacky characters, low stakes, but really delightful atmosphere. There's very little by way of plot: the band basically takes you through space adventures, introducing a slew of beautiful and fierce creatures who parade through the stage in a series of acrobatic acts and dance numbers. There were ribbon dancers. There were lasers shooting out of an evil queen's fingers. There were trumpets and giant metal hearts and an infectious Gaga-esque music set that will get even the biggest grump's toes tapping.

The show fits into the space rather seamlessly. When all was said and done, I was surprised how easily the club slipped back into its lounge setting, simply moving from techno to pop hits. In that way, I would even say The Orion Experience is less of a show and more like an even more entertaining club experience, an elevated dance party with just the slightest hint of story to get you on your feet.

Get your tickets here.

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