One night several weeks ago, I ventured into New York's Theater District to visit the Queen of the Night show at the Diamond Horseshoe inside the Paramount Hotel. Though deep in the heart of the most touristy area of the city, you walk into a surprisingly intimate, immersive dinner theater experience. Through modern dance, circus elements and a feast that you’ll tell your pals about (yes, there are roasted pigs on spits—beware vegans!), the production tells the story of the Queen Marchesa (played by Martha Graham principal dancer Katherine Crockett) and what happens when she throws a dark, twisted debutante ball for her daughter. By the end, you think to yourself, did I just see that?
Everything is a sight. The 6,000-square-foot ballroom, which had been shut down in 1951 and vacant until its reopening earlier this year, underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to make it what it is today. Under the careful eye of set designer Douglas Little, the space transformed to embody opulence and decadence. Go to the bathroom long enough and the wallpaper changes colors. There is a wall concocted out of beetle and butterfly wings. The floors are made with hammered gold. The walls are lined with mirrored panes. The broken chandeliers along the curving entry staircase are the only aspects that remain from the original theater space.
But perhaps the most dazzling of all, especially for fashion lovers, are the costumes. Thom Browne, who is known for his theatrical shows, created the outfits for each member in the production, and the looks are as marveling as the set. “I approached the characters individually,” he told InStyle.com. As such, the Queen Marchesa wore a sky blue cape covered in palm-size circular mirrors; when she took it off, her dress was covered in jutting mannequin hands. Each of the dancers wore gender-agnostic tuxedo-inspired halter tops paired with shorts accented with a white ruffle and topped off with black knee socks. The aerialists completed their back flips high above the crowd in aqua lace bodysuits that matched the Queen.
The stars love the show, too. Jessica Alba, Rose Byrne, Hugh Jackman and Jude Law are just a few of the celebrities who have made it a point to visit The Queen. The show is only on for a limited time, so make sure you go and indulge in a night of consenting debauchery before it's too late.
For more information and to buy tickets, starting at $140, visit queenofthenightnyc.com. The show will be on stage through June 1. Plus, see all the stars who visited Queen of the Night!