The Speakeasy is Closing

This is fucking tragic. Go see this show before it's gone. It is glorious.

The Speakeasy will finally close on Sunday, August 4, after a remarkable run of approximately 425 performances before an audience of more than 72,000 attendees. Conceived and created by Boxcar Artistic Director Nick A. Olivero, The Speakeasy recreates an authentic Prohibition-era nightclub, complete with disguised entrances, secret passageways and vaudeville cabaret. [...]

The Speakeasy's script ran to 1487 pages, with minute-by-minute precision required to coordinate scenes unfolding simultaneously in six different areas of the theater. Bucking trends for a night out on the town, The Speakeasy enforced a dress code for guests, offered period attire for rent, and required that mobile phones be turned off and stowed away inside the theater. After the first act, patrons were free to "choose their own adventure," freely exploring The Speakeasy's maze of rooms. [...]

"We face special challenges as an arts organization, but we also face all the same challenges that every small business in San Francisco has to deal with: the affordability crisis, the labor crisis and the effects of living in the 'shut-in economy'. We see vacant storefronts all over North Beach and throughout the city. More theaters are closing than new ones are opening. Hiring and retaining staff has become almost impossible."

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5 Responses:

  1. Pavel says:

    If you're in New York and can't travel, Speak No More offers a similar thing, where you're free to roam the performance space and try to take everything in.

    • Dan says:

      Also in NYC, on a much smaller, more intimate scale than even the Speakeasy is Then She Fell

  2. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the tip! After reading this, I just bought my ticket, along with tickets for 7 friends I'm bringing along. This will be my fourth time seeing it.

    To the commenters above: The Speakeasy experience is VERY different from Sleep No More. SNM is an interesting experience, but it's also pretentious bullshit. The Speakeasy is much more down-to-Earth and approachable, and a really different approach to creating narrative in a freeform experience. It's my favorite of the different immersive theatre experiences I've tried (though I haven't tried Then She Fell and I've heard lots of good things).

    • jwz says:

      I loved Sleep No More, but it is definitely pretentious as hell. It's also very much an isolating, solo experience, turning you into a ghost as they do. Whereas Speakeasy not only has several coherent, interlocking plots, it makes sense as a group activity.

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