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Theater review: 'Sleep No More,' 4 stars

Sleep No More

Sleep No More

Sleep No More
4 stars

You may have seen "Macbeth" plenty of times before. But have you ever chased the title character up and down several flights of stairs after he murders the king? Or wandered into an empty room to find a very pregnant Lady Macduff silently at prayer?

Plainly put, you've never experienced anything quite like "Sleep No More," an immense, nonlinear and sensory-based theatrical experience. It combines narrative elements of "Macbeth" with aspects of Hitchcockian noir, modern dance, masquerade and a haunted house.

It begins with spectators lining up in front of a Chelsea warehouse. They receive white party masks and are dropped off in what appears to be a 1930s-era hotel. You might find yourself in a ballroom, foggy forest, hospital wing, hotel lobby, graveyard or dozens of other locations created in 100 rooms over six floors.

Actors are spotted here and there. They speak few words and don't interact with the audience. If you follow one around, he or she might eventually be murdered, eat at a banquet or join in an orgy. Genuinely creepy music plays in the background.

You can also just roam the halls on your own, marveling at the absolutely spectacular sense of detail. Unlike a museum, you are free to touch countless props such as handwritten letters, telephones, jars, dolls, crucifixes or candies.

One person's experience of "Sleep No More" is sure to be unlike another's. While you might not gain much insight into "Macbeth," you will never again come so close its characters. Wear comfortable shoes and be ready for a lot of up-close nudity.


If you go: "Sleep No More" plays at the McKittrick Hotel through May 7. 530 W. 27th St.,
866-811-4111, sleepnomorenyc.com

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