For months now the hottest ticket in New York is to experimental theater "experience" Sleep No More. (Well, the hottest ticket has been Book of Mormon but this is a close second.) Maybe part of the reason is people know the show is full of nudity, an orgy, and other sexy goings on. Well, I figured out how you can get the most (ahem) bang for your buck and see all the nudity.
I know I'm late to the Sleep No More party, but every time I tried to get tickets it just seemed too hard. Then Kelly Osbourne got a black eye there, Sean Parker got thrown out of it, and it was on Gossip Girl so I figured it was time to get in before all the crowds flocked. After waiting a month (or more) for tickets once you get inside you want to make it worth your while and see as much skin as you can, right? If you're a perv like me then the answer is, "Of course!"
For those who don't know, Sleep No More is a crazy play based on MacBeth that takes place in the former McKittrick Hotel (and several other spaces, including the old Twilo nightclub, home to many of my '90s K holes) and visitors are welcome to wander around the multi-floor space wherever they like. While this is happening, 25 actors are enacting scenes in different parts of the breathtaking set. You can follow them around and follow the story or just wander, looking through drawers, taking shots left on the bars, turning on the working showers, or doing whatever you want. Oh, and you're wearing a mask the whole time. It's the closest you'll ever be to being in a David Lynch movie.
Based on hearing accounts from friends who have been to the show multiple times, I figured out where all the nudity was going to be and I lucked into finding almost all of it quiet easily. Here is a walk-through of what to do to catch all the naughtiest bits.
You want to start in the ballroom in the basement around 8:45 (since I saw several of the same scenes repeated on my several hour journey through the space, each of these scenes must happen at multiple times throughout the night). You'll see the 12 actors in the show all posed around a large banquet table (just as you will again at the finale). You want to follow "Lady MacBeth" who is at the far right. "MacBeth" is at the far left. Make note of his identity, cause we'll be following him later.
When Lady MacBeth gets up, you want to follow her (get close and be ready to be pushy, throw elbows, and run if you have to) and she'll take you all the way upstairs to a room filled with beds before going into a room filled with bath tubs where she will then get naked and take a bath. She then heads downstairs to her bedroom and flits around for a bit before MacBeth joins her. Now you should start following him. He goes down to the ballroom and watches some awesome dancing. Then he goes upstairs for another round of flirting with Lady MacBeth before running downstairs and killing someone. He then goes back to his room and gets naked (decently hung, uncut) and takes a bath.
Now, you can keep following MacBeth or you can head upstairs on your own and go through a few rooms to a narrow hallway that ends in a bar. When you get there, the three "Witches" are already having a randy time. When MacBeth shows up, it turns into a full-on rave orgy complete with drum-and-bass music, a strobe light, two topless lady witches and a completely naked male witch (well hung, uncut) who puts on a bull's head mask.
When their writhing and cavorting is over, you want to follow the sexy gay witch out of the room. I don't know about you, but I play by Bath House Rules: If there is a hot naked guy, you follow him no matter where he goes. He remains naked as he stumbles down to a shower and gets in. After flailing on the shower floor, he'll point to his towel, if you're nice and close (as I was, duh) you hand it to him. He then asks for your help putting on his pants (!) and shoes. Then he gets up and drags an audience member along with him. I was lucky enough to be his partner. We headed downstairs to the ballroom and before entering he grabbed my face as if he was about to make out with me. (I grabbed his ass, because I'm like that. It was wonderful). He disappeared into the ballroom to start the whole rigamarole all over again.
There you have it, all the nakedest bits! The whole evening is sort of a choose your own adventure, so you can go through it a couple of times or have a totally different experience than I did. The show is already hyping its New Year's Eve after parties, so that should be a brilliant affair. Maybe they'll even add a few more naked people to the orgy.
[Images by Yaniv Schulman and Alick Crossley]