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Big Top Bacchanalia

The experience is a culinary journey, each small course a virtuoso little performance on the palate. The numerous waiters that dance about the table bringing another little chapter in the story, clearing away the ruins of others, form a kind of dazzling choreography in and of themselves. As this is going on, and you and your table mates are still negotiating what to try next, from seemingly nowhere emerge made-up women in flowing white gowns carrying large double-sided mirrors in gilt Baroque frames. They gaze at themselves while simultaneously offering a reflection to each table they slowly move past.


This is the conceptual zenith of the show, which from thence forward is pure spectacle, revolving around aerialist acrobatics and a healthy portion (or two) of exposed flesh. A florescent human tree illuminated in blacklight was a visual high point, but as soon as the curtain revealed the tree it was deconstructed, a missed opportunity for the enthusiastic dancers.


I tend to expect too much of everything, even at an orgiastic pageant in Times Square. The performance was produced by House of Yes, the sexy Brooklyn club space that has become a nightlife mainstay, and which is, consistent with the spirit of nightlife in Brooklyn, delightfully DIY. That sensibility, however, doesn’t necessarily translate to a top-dollar hotel in Manhattan, where the surroundings exude an opulent polish that implies a performance at the level of Dita Von Teese or something on the mainstage of the Bellagio in Vegas. I have a feeling that, even as I write this, the troupe has tightened their dance moves, added a bit more conceptual titillation throughout, and either hired a glittery drag queen to host or put the current host in glittery drag. I wouldn’t hate a live band, either, but maybe I’m reaching.


The food was incredible, the service incomparable, and the dance party at the end entirely dependent on the group you came with. Luckily the office crew is a bunch of jitterbugs.

'The Devouring' is now open at Paradise Club in The Edition Hotel in Times Square.

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