Where would you like to visit tonight during your immersive theater experience: Macbeth’s ghost-filled home, Wonderland or an eroticized tropical resort?
In the increasingly popular genre of immersive, 360-degree, sensory-based theater, audience members are pulled into extremely detailed physical environments and have the freedom to roam around, touch design elements and observe numerous performers at play.
“Sleep No More,” which is based loosely on “Macbeth” and has run for nearly five years in Chelsea, is the best-known of the genre, but another audience favorite is “Then She Fell,” a resetting of “Alice in Wonderland” to a mental hospital, which has played for three years in Williamsburg.
Now Third Rail Projects, the team behind “Then She Fell,” is premiering “The Grand Paradise,” which turns a Bushwick warehouse into a mysterious 1970s vacation destination full of palm trees, huts and New Age music, where a seemingly picture-perfect family drinks from its Fountain of Youth and undergoes sexual awakenings.
“The Grand Paradise” is somewhat more structured than “Sleep No More.” From the start, the cast breaks down the crowd into smaller groups and directs them to observe individual characters.
During my two-hour stay, I caught (among other things) a dance party, a bar fight, a poolside seduction and a young man dancing and disrobing himself on a beach. I was also invited into a bedroom for a pillow fight.
Some parts are more engaging than others. But on the whole, “The Grand Paradise” is extremely impressive in the scope of its detail. Personally, I wouldn’t mind taking in another show to observe different characters.
“The Grand Paradise” plays an open run at 383 Troutman St. in Bushwick.