Paradiso: Chapter 1
Closed 0h 55m
Paradiso: Chapter 1

Paradiso: Chapter 1 NYC Reviews and Tickets

(17 Ratings)
Members say
Ambitious, Clever, Intense, Absorbing, Confusing

About the Show

Immersive theater pioneer Michael Counts created this unique experience, which marries escape-room entertainment with interactive theater.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (17)

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141 Reviews | 37 Followers
Exhilarating, Terrifying, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense

See it if you want a fully immersive experience that is, frankly, rather scary at times. (Also gross!)

Don't see it if you don't like to be scared, want to sit and watch a show, or have never done an escape room. Read more

215 Reviews | 53 Followers
Clever, Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Entertaining

See it if you never lived an escape room and want to live one.

Don't see it if you are claustrophobic and got desperate easily. Read more

129 Reviews | 48 Followers
Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Confusing, Intense

See it if you enjoy riddles, puzzles and escape room fun, and have a friend or two to go with you

Don't see it if you don't like pressure, occasional jump scares, or the ever present sense of the clock ticking down....

59 Reviews | 21 Followers
Dizzying, Interactive

See it if you have wondered about "escape rooms". This is more puzzle centric and great with small groups. Multiple rooms and a story to go through

Don't see it if you are looking for a "theater" experience.

123 Reviews | 52 Followers
Clever, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if you like challenges and have done escape rooms before

Don't see it if you're expecting anything other than an immersive escape room but with a few actors

190 Reviews | 71 Followers
Quirky, Ambitious, Thrilling

See it if you like escape rooms with production values. The actors are totally in their roles. Hints are therefore ore interesting.

Don't see it if you're looking for challenging escape room with very clever puzzles. The storyline is not entirely coherent.

51 Reviews | 10 Followers
Ambitious, Confusing, Refreshing, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if You like puzzles.

Don't see it if You don't want to move around and use your brain.

332 Reviews | 109 Followers
Ambitious, Great staging

See it if You enjoy riddles and have a friend or two to join you.

Don't see it if You're claustrophobic or hated group projects in school.

Critic Reviews (12)

The New York Times
July 25th, 2016

“An audience-participation experience that is part puzzle, part performance, part technological razzle-dazzle. What you get out of it will depend on what you put into it, and perhaps on whom you bring along...Mr. Counts has staged some extravaganzas in the past, but here he keeps things restrained, using a relatively small cast of actors. They’re all entertaining; the technological effects are pretty good; and surprises await those who can think quickly enough to find them.”
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Time Out New York
July 26th, 2016

"Experiential theater fans will feel harried, and escape room aficionados will likely not find the puzzle challenging enough. Still, it's a pretty fun adrenaline rush…As someone who enjoys exploring, I found myself frustrated by the time constraint...It's also hard to stop and listen to a character's paranoid monologue when you know you could be putting keys in locks. All that said: If you ever wanted to be the protagonist in a cheesy action flick, welcome to your sandbox."
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Lighting & Sound America
July 27th, 2016

"Some might find such an enterprise to be hopelessly silly, but I went with it. Think of it as a life-size, 3-D interactive game board -- or, even better, as the opportunity to star in your own B movie. The clues are genuinely puzzling and it took a fair amount of group cooperation...The overall environment is extremely persuasive…'Paradiso' is probably best enjoyed by a group of friends on an evening out…'Paradiso: Chapter One' is a clever diversion. If there's a chapter two, I'll be there. "
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August 6th, 2016

"'Paradiso: Chapter 1' takes immersive, participatory theater to a captivating whole new level — targeting escape-room enthusiasts. Freely borrowing from Dante, with a soupcon of Ridley Scott’s 'Blade Runner', 'Stranger Things' and 'Mr. Robot', 10 or less players band together and participate in a post-modern, interactive puzzle game — a new type of mind-bending immersive theater."
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Theatre is Easy
October 3rd, 2016

"In trying to be an escape room and an immersive theatre experience and a feast of design and special effects, 'Paradiso' doesn’t fully satisfy in any area—each element tends to obscure the others. And if you are a hard-core, no-sleep-until-solved type of puzzler, 'Paradiso' might prove more irritating than enjoyable...But for those who can take the whole thing less seriously, it's certainly an energetic, mind-whirling way to spend an hour that will provide plenty to talk about afterward."
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Front Row Center
July 25th, 2016

“I couldn’t help but wonder if they’re aiming too high. After all, the website calls it ‘the next level of the escape room drama, part immersive theater, part escape room, part existential experience.’ If that’s not a tall order, I don’t know what is. Just one of those things would have been plenty. But it seems like all we got was a clumsy stumble through of an overly ambitious undertaking, nothing more than a shallow mash-up of these exciting new genres.”
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Stage Buddy
July 28th, 2016

“The lack of structural cohesion lies in the company’s remarkable sense of ambition. They’re trying to pull off so much...Despite all of the build up and all of the time and effort put into constructing this world, my excitement quickly gave way to frustration. The narrative drops away in deference to spectacle, and the impetus behind who or what we’re escaping becomes increasingly murky...Once his team adds a bit more narrative follow through, this just might become the talk of the town.”
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Village Voice
July 26th, 2016

"Attempts to be many things: a riff on Dante's 'Divine Comedy,' an 'escape room' puzzle for spectators to solve, and a feat of technical design. These elements, alas, don't quite come together...As a theatrical experience, 'Paradiso' lacks any discernible logic. The story shards available in each room add up to little...'Paradiso' tries to straddle these disparate worlds, mainstream entertainment and theatrical spectacle—creating, so far, an escape room you'll very much want to leave."
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