Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs
Oh, but did I mention it’s 'dinner theatre'? “Please don’t call it a nightclub. It’s dinner theatre for a younger generation,” begs the London-born, New York-bred theater director, Simon Hammerstein (of one of Amerca's most famous theatre-owning families) who I chatted to over a neuteured purple squirrel the other night. The idea for The Box was born, Hammerstein said, when he was directing late-night theater and “got tired of going across the street to get drunk with the audience." He calls it “submersion theater" (take that Hoxton hipsters).
The space is located in a 70-year-old, two-story, 5,000-square-foot converted sign factory. Most of the materials including the lighting, bars, wallpaper, and marble fireplaces are salvaged antiques from the 1920s, which create a wacky patchwork that feels part theater, part brothel, and part speakeasy.
The actors Jude Law and Rachel Weisz sit on the board of the opera house-cum-concert saloon. The entertainment line-up for the coming weeks is eccentric: Thai fighters one night and opera singers in Mexican wrestling masks the next. The signs of success could hardly be clearer.
189 Chrystie Street, NYC
Back in London tomorrow, BA permitting.