“Tammany Hall still stands!” is the closing line of the play although you’ve just watched and participated in its crumbling demise.
You’ve stepped into a mystery of power and graft, a history of corruption, a sophistry of lies and deceit.
This immersive theater experience all starts when you’re out on the sidewalk showing your Covid card and getting your voting ballot prior to walking in the door when the stench of corruption first hits your nostrils. It’s election night 1929 and the race for mayor is heated with the Tammany Hall incumbent James Walker going toe-to-toe against Fiorello La Guardia, duking it out in the political ring. It’s about the politics of the time with everyone claiming to be for the people, about the ultimate goal of power and money, and who has who’s hand in who’s pocket.
Using the whole building of Soho Rep, which was originally a historical part of the Tammany empire, you will travel from the roof to the basement (lots of stairs so be prepared), snuck into the secret room behind the bookcase to listen through walls, ushered into private offices for a hushed conversation, paused in plush sitting rooms to win your favor, shown the allure of a backstage dressing room of a pre-Broadway show, embroiled in the heat of the boxing ring of a political debate, and the ever-present speakeasy if you only know which broom closet to walk through. There’re politicians, the DA’s office, undercover cops, a piano player, thugs, flunkeys, contracts to sign, votes to cast, bartenders to tip, and dancing girls.
Some scripted, some improved, the whole ensemble works their tails off as there are, in essence, five or six different mini-shows going on at the same time in different locations. You will be part of the show in some form as each pull for power makes its case to try and win you over. There will be times where you listen and times where you participate, and your input guides the scene. It is truly interactive.
The audience experience will be different for everyone as cast members surreptitiously pull the audience apart and shuffle them into the theater, side rooms, and stairwells. And although everyone gets a different piece of the puzzle experience, it all comes together at the end when one winner actually loses and we’re gathered together to witness and usher in a new beginning. There are lots of parallels to today’s society where the 1920s and the 2020s don’t look that much different. It’s a fun experience, a good history lesson, and a love note to New York City.
“I’d rather be a lamppost in New York than the mayor of Chicago.”
Tammany Hall is a site-specific immersive production, running time: 90 minutes. Tickets are available through Ovationtix.com, SoHoPlayhouse.com, or at the Box Office Tuesday – Sunday after 4PM. Discounts will be made available for groups, students, and seniors.
SCHEDULE: Opens election night Nov 2. Beginning Nov. 3, Tammany Hall plays Wednesday – Friday at 7PM and 9PM; Saturday at 5PM, 7PM, and 9PM; and Sunday at 5PM and 7PM.
SOHO PLAYHOUSE COVID-19 POLICY: Guests will need to be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine to attend a show and show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the theatre with their valid ticket. “Fully vaccinated” means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Mask use will be required per current CDC guidelines. For more information, please visit SohoPlayhouse.com.