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Sleep No More is AMAZING

billyboyA
Stand-by
joined:12/29/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 12:11am
I just got home from seeing Sleep No More, and number one, I doubt I'll be ABLE to sleep tonight from just replaying in my head all that I experienced tonight. This is a show that HAS to be experienced. If I even tried to write about what I experienced then it wouldn't even come close to describing it. Tomorrow morning, I go to the drama bookstore to buy MacBeth, then I'm buying Hitchcock's "Rebecca" and THEN I'm buying myself another ticket for this show to see after I've read and watched the other two ("Sleep No More" is derived and inspired by those two masterpieces).

Don't miss this show if you can at all help it!!
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CockeyedOptimist2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/10/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 12:23am
I'm seeing it in about two weeks. Can't wait! May have to brush up on my Macbeth and "Rebecca" before then.
billyboyA
Stand-by
joined:12/29/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 12:56am
Definitely do! I really wish I had. Although for those of you who hate having "homework" before seeing a show - you could go to this knowing nothing and still think it was amazing.
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themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 07:31am

Yay. I'm glad to hear you had such a wonderful experience, billyboy! I'm gonna be a pain in the ass one more time and ask about the masks. See, if I go to this, I'll be going with my mom, and this kind of theater will be a totally new experience for her, and I'd hate for it to be sullied by uncomfortableness. I can already hear it upon arrival -- "Oh, we have to wear what now? For three hours?!"

Are the masks, like... I don't know... large/unwieldy/uncomfortable/hot/close-fitting. Do they fasten with a strap or just sit on your head?

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Sauja
Broadway Star
joined:1/7/07
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 10:58am
themysteriousgrowl, the masks aren't too bad. There's an elastic strap around the back, and though they fit close around the eyes, they aren't stifling below that. I admit that the fit over my glasses was uncomfortable, but I'd imagine that without glasses, they're totally fine.

I have mixed feelings about the show itself. I found pieces of it breathtaking, and the opportunity to explore this enormous and incredibly designed space was incredible. That said, I felt real frustration not being able to follow any terribly well-defined thread. With so much going on, I left with the feeling that I had a very incomplete experience. Surely there were more letters hanging around that I should read, a ton of individual performances I didn't catch. They say there's no right or wrong way to experience it, but I had a hard time giving myself over to it. A fascinating experience and part of me does want to go back, but I'm still trying to find a larger meaning in all of it and worry that what it had to say was actually quite a bit smaller than the actual breadth of material and size of its execution. Am I alone in this? I might be. I was there and on the move for the full three hours and still felt like I just...missed something. I'm not prepared to say that's the show's fault and not my own, though.
I started a blog! Cause I'm a nerd. http://100showsayear.blogspot.com/
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themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 11:29am

Thank you, Sauja! And thanks for the review. Yours is the first -- well, I won't say "negative" review. But your review is the first that I've even seen with minor qualms, hesitations, or qualifiers. And you raise some interesting points because some of the things you address were things I had wondered myself -- is it possible to leave after a visit feeling that you've had an unfocused or not wholly satisfying experience? Neato. Thanks, again!
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wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 11:39am
How difficult is it to get to the venue? Is the neighborhood okay for a walk to the subway?
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Sauja
Broadway Star
joined:1/7/07
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 12:21pm
I know! Everyone on here raved about it so even though I have a ton of great things to say about it, I still feel like the wet blanket. I'm very, very glad I went, loved pieces of it, and can't stop thinking about it. I do wonder how much had to do with expectations and how much different the experience might have been if I hadn't been seriously on the lookout for the bigger meaning. Also, some people were just rude and forcing their way past each other and bumping into each other pretty hard. So it was alternately thrilling and frustrating. Would definitely have been more enjoyable with about 50 less people in the building.
I started a blog! Cause I'm a nerd. http://100showsayear.blogspot.com/
wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 12:44pm
Fascinating to think about the psychological effect on behavior of wearing a mask.
billyboyA
Stand-by
joined:12/29/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 01:11pm
Sauja,

I have to say that I had moments of the same, even though I have to say I think it WAS brilliant. I kept wanting dialogue - and kept wishing I could make more sense of it. I kept wishing they would say SOMETHING so that I could figure a few basic things out - like who was who (see my other post on here asking for character I.D.'s). And I have to say I'm even a little frustrated that the producers have decided to not make the cast list available so that I could do a little research afterward and put names to faces, to help to make sense of it all.

But all of that said - I think the fact that none of us who have seen it can stop thinking about it says VOLUMES about the experience. Even the frustrations - like not knowing exactly who was who - or what you might have missed, adds to the brilliance of the piece. Is it a perfect show? Well, maybe there really is no such thing AS a perfect show.

But what an EXPERIENCE, right? How great to have spent your money and been able to be SO immersed in something that brilliantly constructed. Even the sets alone - my God, you can't even CALL them sets. I mean, this isn't like they decorated 90 rooms. They TRANSFORMED them. In the graveyard, I had to keep reminding myself that I was inside!!

I think that maybe you were supposed to feel like you missed something... that you can't fully understand it all...

Hell, at this point, I'd be happy to know which actor was which character!!

But again, I keep coming back to the same thing: I can't stop thinking about it and crave to know more about what I saw...

THEMYSTERIOUSGROWL:

I don't know what to say about your Mom and the masks. I can't say it was the most comfortable thing I've ever had on - and after about hour two, my face was getting pretty sweaty. But they add SO much to the overall feel of it. Something HUGE would be lost if the audience wasn't wearing these masks. Made us all feel as if we were ghosts and spirits watching the living. So I think it all depends on how difficult your Mom is. Can she roll with the punches and just experience something because it's SO unique and becoming SO legendary? Or is she going to be all wrapped up in the mask being an issue. It's not tight and it doesn't hurt to wear it, like some of those old cheap Halloween masks are. But I would also think that this may not be the right show for the kind of audience member who might be described as "a pain in the ass" when it comes to things not being exactly perfect as they perceive perfect to be. For instance, when I saw The Three Sisters last month downtown, one woman near me bitched the ENTIRE time about the seats being too close. Ok, yeah, they are. There's NO leg room and for a three hour play, it DOES get uncomfortable. But I felt like saying "suck it UP lady - you're seeing some wonderful performances of a classic show with big stars, stop focusing on the negative and take in the WHOLE experience". She came to mind when I got to Sleep No More last night and I could just imagine the amount of bitching she'd subject her poor husband to if he brought her to this.

And if you decide not to take your Mom - GO BY YOURSELF! It's TRULY an individual thing to experience anyway. The LAST thing you want is to be saddled with someone you have to constantly keep an eye out for. You'll miss 3/4 of the show and the experience if you're trying to take care of your Mom. Trust me on this.
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themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 01:30pm

Ha! Thank you, billyboy, for the response

I guess I sort of made her sound like a prudish, difficult harridan lol Up until a few years ago, she was a very conventional theatergoer, preferring musicals to plays and soap stars on tour to strong regional productions. In the past year, I've taken her to her first three Shakespeare plays and the Stratford and Shaw Festivals. I'm trying to turn her into a more adventurious theatergoer, but I know this will be unlike anything she's expecting (I don't even want to prep her for it too much) and I was wondering if the immersiveness would be too big a leap for her into the world of experimental theater. The idea of having to don what is essentially a costume piece for a few hours -- well, I could see probably even myself getting up on that if it were uncomfortable. But it sounds more than reasonable, and I will certainly be going, regardless ::Facebook thumbs up::
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Updated On: 3/16/11 at 01:30 PM
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sabrelady
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 09:59pm
yeah I KNOW this is a weird question but what do they disinfect the masks with? I mean I HOPE they disinfect them. Just a titch worried about skin contaminates and potential infections (esp eyes!)
Words that confuse censors:Fecund,penal,taint, titmouse, cockatoo,coccyx, ballcock, cockeye, prickly,kumquat, titter,cunning linguist, insertion, gobble, guzzle, swallow, manhole, rimshot,ramrod,come, fallacious, lugubrious,rectify,Uranus, angina, paradiddle,spotted dick,dictum, frock,cunctation, engorge,turgid,stiff, bush, uvula, crapulence, masticate, Dick Butkus, gherkin and of course the always bewildering lickety split. As you can see, context is every thing. Chuck Lorre Addendum: 555 382 5968 "Sexarama, Hexarama, Queeriosis, Feariosis!" Alec Baldwin "Happiness is up to you. You just have to understand what it is before you get it." -Elaine Stritch
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FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/16/11 at 10:32pm
Each and every mask gets a complete Purell-brand wipe down. I know this because my friend regaled me with tales of the glamorous activities that go into being a steward.

"Everyone on here raved about it ..."

I think that's an overstatement. I raved about it for a year and a few folks who have seen it in NYC have merely advised people to go. Even in my raves I tried to give the caveat that everybody's experience is different depending on how you take the show in. If you chase a character, if you can keep up with one character, you'll be surprised how the vignettes add up to a through-line. I managed to follow one character until the scenes folded back in to where I picked up the story line, but because I had followed him in through a different door it all looked completely different. The scene was half way through before I realized this was where I joined in. It was like a dream. I then followed a different character as she left the room and had a totally different experience.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
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fosca3
Broadway Star
joined:2/1/08
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/17/11 at 05:32am
Sauja summed up my feelings perfectly (and much more articulately than I could have ever done)

I found the crowds of people rushing and pushing to follow each character distracting, and the herds racing up and down the steps to stay with a character also. If your Mom isn't great with steps, she may have trouble keeping up

I tried staying in one place some times, and then characters came to me and I saw scenes that way (tho always with their large entourage crowding into the room I was already in, and usually blocking me back in a corner)

But I too haven't been able to stop thinking about it, and wish I had seen more, or gotten more of the 'Macbeth' storyline from it. I wish I could see it again, but unless it extends I won't be able to

The masks are hot (when I was alone in a room I'd push mine up and breathe, till I'd get caught and 'asked' to put it back down). I agree, tho, that the masks add to it -- they anonymize the audience and make them less distracting, making the characters more real

I'm really glad I went, tho I left feeling frustrated that I'd missed something important

For one thing -- I did miss the 'finale' (I heard people saying there was one?). I was still wandering around alone, exploring. I guess towards the end time, you should definitely follow a character? I have a feeling that the characters all came together at the end, and that's what gathered the audience in one place?

Namo, if you could pm me and tell me what I missed at the end, I'd really appreciate it. That's been bugging me more than anything

I still wholeheartedly recommend it. I saw several great scenes, LOVED exploring the rooms to my heart's content, and found so many quirky little surprises along the way
You don't go to the dragon without a present - Mark Rylance
DrVincento2
Swing
joined:5/10/04
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/17/11 at 10:00am
I work on the production and I wanted to answer a few simple questions.

Programs will be available shortly. For those that have seen the show, you are aware of the immense space. To compile a just program, we have to include all of the incredible folks that put this show together. That number is currently in the hundreds so when have the most accurate list, they will be available at the show.

Currently, the masks are brand new for each show. In the future, depending on demand, we will re-use the masks but they will be sterilized with a all-natural and chemical free hypoallergenic product that was used for the Boston production.

The best (and safest route to the venue) is down 23rd street till you reach 10th). The neighborhood is generally very busy from galleries, clubs, restaurants, etc. If you feel unsafe, a cab to any major subway (42nd, 14th, etc.) is only a few dollars.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me. I will not give details about the show but will answer any logistical questions.

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sabrelady
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/18/11 at 12:59am
Thanks so much for the FYI on the masks, really eased my mind.

Can you tell us if the show will extend at all? A friend want to when she is in town in May.
Words that confuse censors:Fecund,penal,taint, titmouse, cockatoo,coccyx, ballcock, cockeye, prickly,kumquat, titter,cunning linguist, insertion, gobble, guzzle, swallow, manhole, rimshot,ramrod,come, fallacious, lugubrious,rectify,Uranus, angina, paradiddle,spotted dick,dictum, frock,cunctation, engorge,turgid,stiff, bush, uvula, crapulence, masticate, Dick Butkus, gherkin and of course the always bewildering lickety split. As you can see, context is every thing. Chuck Lorre Addendum: 555 382 5968 "Sexarama, Hexarama, Queeriosis, Feariosis!" Alec Baldwin "Happiness is up to you. You just have to understand what it is before you get it." -Elaine Stritch
billyboyA
Stand-by
joined:12/29/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/18/11 at 02:44am
DrVincento:

A suggestion to the producers: You guys should have a lecture or a cast "talk-back" night... I'd pay for a ticket to an event like that where we could ask the actors questions about their roles and what we saw. Any chance you guys would ever consider something like this? I would bet people would be REALLY into hearing some of the inside scoop - maybe later in the run, or right after you close? Name a ticket price for that, and I'd pay it for sure!
Boston28
Swing
joined:3/18/11
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/18/11 at 11:50am
I thoroughly agree about having a cast discussion. I bet they have some wild stories about interactions with audience members and things they've seen them do.

I went twice in Boston and am headed down in a couple of weeks to go in NY. Question: I bought an early ticket assuming I'd be able to stay till the end of the night (sat. night, 2 am?) It now sounds like the first audience will be "swept" out. In Boston, we had the opportunity to hang out at the bar and listen to the band after the performance was over. Is that not the case in NY (on Fri/Sat early performances?) Also, what time will we be forced out of the performance area/rooms?
billyboyA
Stand-by
joined:12/29/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/18/11 at 12:40pm
I'm going to try to be cryptic here so it doesn't give away a spoiler...

But after the thingy at the end in the ballroom with you know who doing you know what to you know who, the actors start to take the arms of audience members and lead them to the bar where the band is playing. We were among the first to be lead out, not realizing that was what was happening at the time - instead thinking there was another "secret" to be learned. But we did find that the crowd filtered into the bar pretty quickly. We stayed for probably 2 songs, and then my friend needed to leave because it was getting late. I think it was about 10:30 at that point.

Anyway, I definitely never felt pushed out of the building, and because of the mandatory coat check, my guess is that they probably want to stagger people leaving anyway. On the other hand, this was a Tuesday night, so there was no 11 p.m. show. And the reality is that on a 2 show day, they need to get the audience out, get the props all re-set, give the actors a break, get the bar re-set and get people filtering in, through the coat check, etc. So I don't think people who go to the earlier show on a 2 show night will be able to stay for ENDLESS amounts of time.

But I, for one, never felt that I was being pushed out.

One other recommendation I DO have, though, is to try to get an early ticket time, because there's SO much to explore, and once the action really starts, you kind of want to follow that. When we first got there, I kept thinking "I hope there's a few more actors in this, because so far it's just exploring these very cool rooms". But 1/2 hour later, it was in full swing.

So, re-read your MacBeth. See "Rebecca" (the film), and then get an early entrance time and GO EXPLORE...
Boston28
Swing
joined:3/18/11
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/18/11 at 02:09pm
I have a feeling you're right and I probably would have been better off with an 11:00 entry instead of the 7:00. I went to see it in Boston twice and STILL didn't make it into all the rooms (though I saw all but 1 of the major scenes, I believe.) With twice as many rooms, I'm afraid I'll feel pressured to explore more quickly than I'd like. Oh well, maybe they'll extend it and I'll go back again. No more weekends available during the run. Would have been just perfect if I could have stayed from 7 till 2:00 a.m!
billyboyA
Stand-by
joined:12/29/10
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/18/11 at 04:16pm
You could always try to hide in Lady MacB's closet? Someone told me there's a secret passageway through there... but I never saw the wardrobe, so I can't vouch for that... but I would bet that somewhere in those 90 rooms you can find a place to hide... be a rebel and then report back to us here about your adventures!!
April Saul
Broadway Legend
joined:2/17/06
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/18/11 at 06:42pm
Speaking of Lady McB, I got so close to her last night that she stepped on my foot with her spiked heel and she had to mouth a little apology! I too was pretty captivated by Sleep No More, although the tix I bought (with a great discount) from someone who couldn't make it last minute were for 7:40, and I'd much rather have started earlier.

The first 30 or 40 minutes were pretty frustrating, couldn't find many actors around, wondering what was the point...am wondering now if I had stepped into the action mid-cycle, don't know how many times it all goes around...anyone have an answer?

Then, all of a sudden, so much drama, actors in my face, amazing dancing and acrobatics, incredible final tableau...and I was a fan! My daughter was not crazy about it--too disorienting for her taste--and I wouldn't recommend it to people who aren't too nimble, as my fondest memories are of chasing some pretty wild characters up multiple flights of stairs at a breakneck pace. But so unique...and I'd think it'd be of particular interest to fans of dancing, because it's so balletic.

We studied Rebecca and reviewed MacBeth before the show and were still mystified by much of it, even though I was enthralled. For me, Lady McB was just amazing, and I wound up following her (well, almost) everywhere.

Very cool experience...wish it was less expensive, but I can see where the money went. And I somehow want just a bit more guidance, maybe in the form of a program people could look at while waiting in the line, or Q and A afterwards or both.
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yay_gerb
Broadway Legend
joined:12/7/08
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/18/11 at 08:02pm
the whole production goes around 3 times about an hour long each time. the first time (starting at 7), i'm not so sure is a complete run through of the whole thing. closer to 7 i dont remember seeing any actors, so it could start around 7:30 to give the audience time to explore and get a feel for the place. has anyone else seen any of the actors earlier than 7:30?

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FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/21/11 at 11:19am
"I'd pay for a ticket to an event like that where we could ask the actors questions about their roles and what we saw."

According to people who are friends with a few actors in the Boston production, the actors are only familiar with what happens in their own tracks. They know exactly where they have to be and when and they don't spend any time on the bigger picture because they have so much to do. Also, they're contractually obligated to reveal nothing in their smaller, more specific scenes.

'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
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JeaniusIsMe
Broadway Star
joined:2/2/05
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/21/11 at 02:06pm
These reviews here have intrigued me and I've bought my ticket (as a big Shakespeare buff, I can't pass up something that sounds so unique). Any advice for how to tackle the event- rooms to stop in, characters to follow?
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yay_gerb
Broadway Legend
joined:12/7/08
Sleep No More is AMAZING
Posted: 3/21/11 at 05:45pm
as others have said the best way to experience it is to go in not knowing anything about it. they go through everything about 3 times starting around 7 (or 11 for the midnight shows) so you can see different things that happens simultaneously. the only advice i would give you is to get there as close to 7(or 11) as possible to get to experience more of it.

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