Interactive Fantasy Broadway Show In Chicago Could Be Next Theater Craze
Roll for initiative and reserve your seat for this interactive Dungeons and Dragons themed Broadway show playing in downtown Chicago.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a Dungeons and Dragons group about a year and a half ago. It was something that I had always been interested in but had never known anyone that was into it.
Over the last 5 years or so my friend group has really gotten into playing board games. If it's been a while since you've played a board game the landscape has changed. It's not Sorry, Risk, and The Game of Life anymore, it's games like Azul, Ticket To Ride, and Wingspan. Games have become, a bit more complicated, a lot more nuanced, and exceptionally better looking. The artwork alone that goes into many of these games is stunning.
This path into the boardgame world eventually led us to someone who played DnD as a kid but wanted to get back into it, there was a group of us that always wanted to play but didn't know anyone to show us how and, boom!, a new DnD group was formed.
I say all that to explain why I was so excited to receive an invitation to an early showing of The Twenty-Sided Tavern at the Broadway Playhouse at The Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago.
After attending Friday night's show, I found out I should have been a little more excited because The Twenty-Sided Tavern is the most fun I've had watching live theater and could be the next big theater experience to sweep the country.
I was impressed the minute I walked into the theater space. The Broadway Playhouse at the Water Tower Place in Chicago is the perfect venue for an interactive show like this. The ceiling is low and the room sits about 500 people, it feels intimate.
The show does a good job of introducing people to the world of Dungeon and Dragons that might not have ever played before. The narrator/Dungeon Master (played expertly by David Andrew Greener Laws) introduces our three characters for the evening, a fighter, a Mage, and a Rogue, the three basic archetypes of Dungeon and Dragons.
Everyone received a a sticker in their program that was either red, blue, or green that indicated which character you would help control.
This is a show where you are encouraged to use your phone. That's because you need it to vote on what move your character does next. The technology worked perfectly and the three projection screens behind the players showed you results in real time.
I would like to note that the screens behind the players were amazingly detailed and vibrant. Each screen was being constantly updated with every twist and turn of the story.
In addition to voting on your phone, audience members were routinely brought up on stage to partake in the action. Either by rolling giant dice, playing a massive Jenga-like game, and even delivering some scripted lines.
Because the audience gets to decide what happens along the way, every performance of The Twenty-Sided Tavern is unique. The show we saw on Friday night will never happen again and that makes me want to go see another one ASAP to see where else this Broadway show can go.
Again, you don't have to know a thing about Dungeons and Dragons to enjoy this show and it might be the kind of thing that introduces you to a new hobby.
This show has been sold out basically everywhere it's been so you'll want to grab tickets sooner than later before the show ends its scheduled run In January.
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