You knock twice on an unmarked door, pause, then knock two more times. A dapper man in a three-piece suit peeks out and waves you inside, where cabaret dancers in flapper dresses are kicking up their heels and bootleggers are arguing over a casino table.
No, you have not been cast as an extra on Boardwalk Empire. You are at The Speakeasy.
The new immersive theater experience is set in an illicit Prohibition-era bar at a location in the Tenderloin that is confidential until you buy tickets. The 40 or so cast members--who play singers, gamblers and other assorted period characters--mill about the space, performing onstage as well as acting out various story lines that occasionally involve the audience.
Attendees are encouraged to get gussied up, Roaring Twenties-style (we saw a few dropped-waist sequined numbers) and to explore the various rooms, including a faux casino where you can play pretend craps while sipping negronis and Manhattans.
We don?t want to give away too much in terms of what to expect, but we?d suggest reserving a cabaret table (add $10 to the basic $60 ticket fee) and taking a look through the one-way mirror that peeks into the dressing room. Oh, and follow the number one house rule: Speak easy. (Translation: Whisper.)
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. through April 26; make reservations online.