The Grand Paradise OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    January 30, 2016
    Closing:
    May 29, 2016

    Theater: The Grand Paradise / 383 Troutman Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237

    Synopsis: 

    A pas de deux of desire and death, a midlife crisis, a coming of age, and a search for the Fountain of Youth at the resort of the eternally brokenhearted. Set in those hazy and culturally liminal years of the late 1970s becoming the 1980s, "The Grand Paradise" is a tropical resort that purports to be the home of the original, genuine Fountain of Youth whose waters promise to quench our deepest longings. Greeted with a tropical drink, a garland of flowers, and an overly-cheerful activities director, visitors encounter the resort’s resident population; characters who embody the era’s shifting and blurring values — a rogue’s gallery of eccentrics, hustlers, eternal youths, gods, monsters, disco queens, and con men. Guests are invited to explore the resort and beaches, watch a floorshow, follow performers into one-on-one encounters, and trade their faded ideals for shiny new illusions.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Grand Paradise

    ‘The Grand Paradise’ Summons a ’70s Pleasure Palace

    Ben Brantley

    January 31, 2016: I had barely arrived for my tropical holiday in Brooklyn before I was deflowered. Yes, my lei, which had been hung welcomingly around my neck when I entered the resort called the Grand Paradise, was taken from me (gently) by a vulpine blonde in a pink satin bathing suit and pearls. That occurred in her dressing room, where this guiding siren — whom I had just watched striking pinup poses with giant pearls on a nightclub stage — was showing me faded postcards affixed to her mirror and telling me about the different lovers they brought to mind. “Stan,” she would sigh, or “Harry,” or “Jim,” appending each name with the same wistful postscript: “He was my first.” Now that my lei had been added to her collection, I was feeling shucked and sentimental. In the context of what seemed guaranteed to turn into a night of encounters with intimate strangers, she was, after all, my first. “The Grand Paradise,” the latest and lushest of the many immersive theater spectacles to set up camp in New York in recent years, traffics in instant nostalgia. Created by Third Rail Projects, this interactive tour of an imaginary Floridian pleasure palace from the 1970s manages to summon romantic promise and regretful retrospection in a single, ocean-air breath.

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