“Sleep No More”
This weekend in New York, my friends took me to a unique NYC spot that I had never been to, but had seen in the hit show Gossip Girl. We spent an evening at The McKittrick Hotel, had dinner and drinks, and saw “Sleep No More.” The entire aesthetic of The McKittrick Hotel pretty much transports you to another world in itself, which is half of the experience. For those of you who have never heard of Sleep No More, it is an interactive play that basically breaks through another wall in the theatre realm and allows you to become part of the experience. Read on for an overview of my night there...
When we arrived at 7PM sharp, we were directed into a seemingly creepy elevator off of the street in Chelsea, where the The McKittrick Hotel is located. This elevator took us up to the main floor, where we were directed down a corridor that had a distinct 1920s/1930s feel to it. Even all of the interior decor and hotel staff was complementing that 1920s/1930s look and feel. When you looked to the left while standing in the corridor, you would see a massive dining room complete with a dance area and stage, where the live band was playing. On the right of the hallway, there were little, private rooms that were you could eat dinner. All of those private rooms linked together to look like an old train’s dining car. We explored this floor, as well as the rooftop garden and bar, which was absolutely stunning (looked like a magical, secret garden).
The three of us sat down for dinner and cocktails before the event in the main dining room, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The food was delicious (I would totally go back just for the food!) and the service staff was amazing. Not only were they dressed to the nines, but they also had actors walking around and interacting with guests as if they were really part of this hotel experience. All of it was leading up to the point where you “check in” to the hotel. I highly recommend doing dinner there before or after the play if you have the chance!
When it came time to start the play, we were required to check all of our belongings to their coat check, where you’re also given a playing card with a number or face on it. This is your ticket into the show. An actor comes and calls a series of numbers to follow them into the stairwell so you can begin your journey. Inside the stairwell, everyone is given a mask that you are required to wear for the remainder of the show. You are also directed to no longer speak for the duration of the show and encouraged to split up from your party in order to have your own unique experience. From there, they turn you loose and your journey begins.
There are 5 floors of the hotel for you to freely roam and explore. Each floor has different rooms and sets that collectively tell a story. The overall theme to this experience is a unique rendition of the famous play, “Macbeth.” You’re encouraged to roam from room to room, open drawers, read letters, and really immerse yourself in the experience. While you’re exploring, actors roam in and out of all the rooms while simultaneously performing these beautiful, interpretive moves that help tell the story. You can follow the actors from room to room, or explore other rooms and find other scenes that are taking place. The point is to have your own experience of the show and almost feel as if you’re a fly on the wall of this story that is being told. It is such a fun and exciting experience that left me feeling invigorated, vulnerable, and a bunch of other crazy emotions. *I definitely recommend wearing comfy shoes to this because of all the exploring (and maybe running around) you will do!
At the end, my friends and I reconvened back in the cocktail lounge and shared stories of what we saw, felt, and experienced. It was so cool to see and hear that the three of us each saw and did totally different things while we were inside. It made me want to go back to be able to see all of the things that I missed! The McKittrick Hotel/“Sleep No More” was easily one of the coolest things I’ve done while traveling and I highly recommend it if you’re in New York.