Archikulture Digest
24

24

Renaissance Theatre Company, Orlando, Florida

One thing about this theater is you never know which door to use. I tried them all, and ended up back by the railroad tracks entrance. I thought “Do I have the wrong date?” Then a woman dressed as a 1920s flapper showed up, so we both knew we were on the right path.

A few more people arrived in costume, and we found our way to tonight’s door up front. We all passed through a possibly working metal detector operated by an improvised bouncer. Next a dimly lit passage led us to the ID and age check guy. We were assigned a code number, which we used in the next step. Groups of nine guests awaited, and then passed into a white room where they were told to sit quietly as the attendants shuffled paper. One by one, we were called up and asked for our ID number. I gave them the always popular “BR-549,” and was granted entry.

Now I was in the main theater space, chopped into 10 zones. QR codes littered the tables, your preferred way to visit the bar electronically. Being an outlaw, I went to the bar and had a human make me a drink. Not bad for a digital Old Fashioned.

After some time, the house filled. Character actors mingled and dropped clues about the show. Basically, we were in alternate universe during prohibition, drinking digital drinks and acting on primal urges that would never pass. An MC appeared, and a loud, long, and spectacular dance event broke out. The music loud, the fog New England thick, the party rolling.

I suspect a plot lurks in here, but it’s overwhelmed by music, feathers and glitter. Over a dozen dancers in 1920s sequins shimmy, acrobats flip, and we drink, we mingle. In other words, a typical Tuesday at the Ren. Put on your glitter, and push the wayback button on your phone. And if you have any 1920s drag, this is the place to show it off. ◼

Ren Theatre


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