Spiegelworld : Empire

June 17, 2012

Last night I had the privilege of being invited to see Spiegelworld Empire. I’ve walked past their tent on 45th many times and have always been intrigued. Not at all your typical Broadway show, Empire brings thrills, laughs and moments where you forget to breathe.

What I loved about the experience before it even started, was the fact the place was flat out awesome. Funky on the outside, small and intimate on the inside. Show aside, I’d probably go there for drinks on any given night if it was just a bar. Any seat you get is perfect. They perform in the round, just a couple rows of chairs. The only off-putting aspect of it that kind of ruined it for me was before the show began. The performers would mill about all holding signs asking for money in some way – a dollar for a money tree, a quarter to ride a mechanical horse ride. I get that they are carnival-like performers trying to make a living but couldn’t they at least hold off asking for money until the end? With ticket prices over $60, let us see what you can do first.

The show features a couple different acts, mostly based on strength. Balance, contortion, roller skating [trust me on this one when I say, “wow”], ballet… the show has it all. I haven’t seen anything like it. I watched the acts in awe, one of the final balancing acts left me unable to breathe I was so nervous and captivated. Not only are these feats incredible and enthralling, the way it’s presented is visually stunning. The first act features an incredibly flexible woman in a giant bubble. Between the lighting and the actual bubbles blowing all around the room, it was beautiful. I have to say, the one “act” that I didn’t like, was the husband and wife duo that were basically the comedy relief – except they weren’t funny. They would come around between each act, do something stupid and/or crude to fill time. They really just weren’t my taste in humor and I dreaded every time I saw them coming back to the stage – I just sat and waited for it to be over.

The show runs about an hour and I think for the ticket price it’s worth it. You get to see a bunch of great acts, there’s a lovely woman that sings along with a killer one man band. You’ll laugh, you’ll be amazed, and you might get a lapdance. The show is a raunchy, ridiculous, good time.

Spiegelworld presents Empire plays at 265 West 45th street NYC. Tickets range from $59-$129, with $29 student rush. Check out  http://www.spiegelworld.com/ for more info.

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