New York | 0h 55m | Already closed

Paradiso: Chapter 1

From 12 critic and 17 member reviews
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. More…

Loosely inspired by 'The Divine Comedy,' 'PARADISO: Chapter 1' drops 10 audience members into a noir-styled, futuristic nightmare that they must navigate through. With a company of actors guiding the experience, 'PARADISO' features a narrative structure that makes audiences feel as if they have entered a world where the circumstances, characters, risks, and drama represent an immersive 'reality.' A multi-layered story unfolds complete with actors, 3D holographic projection technology, and special effects. From the team behind 'The Walking Dead Experience' and 'Play/Date.' Ages 13 and up only. Exact Midtown Manhattan location provided upon purchase of tickets. 

0h 55m | Already closed | Koreatown (Midtown W)

Stage Buddy

“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.” Full Review

Plays to See

“The traditional escape-room experience…on steroids...The last room that my group entered was my favorite. I don’t want to spoil too much, but let’s just say that there is a dead man, and I put my arms in his stomach…‘Paradiso’ wants to pack a lot of story into the game play. Yet in reality, I missed most of it because I was busy trying to solve the puzzles...Despite my complaints about 'Paradiso,' I will say one thing–it is truly immersive.” Full Review

Time Out New York

"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." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"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." Full Review

Off Off Online

"With such a talented cast at hand, 'Paradiso' might consider developing a clearer story line and incorporating each actor further into the fabric of the experience...'Paradiso' claims to incorporate immersive theater techniques, but do not expect the same level of detail as the exquisitely designed sets of companies like Punchdrunk...If you enjoy high-pressure gaming environments, definitely attend...If immersive theater is more your thing, consider skipping this one." Full Review

Front Row Center

“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.” Full Review

Absorbing, Clever, Disappointing, Audience-based

See it if you go with a group of people and enjoy spending time with

Don't see it if you get a random group of people and aren't getting along with them

Entertaining, Confusing, Silly

See it if you're going with a group of friends and just want to have a silly fun time

Don't see it if you want high quality puzzles and a real opportunity to solve them, and/or you want characters and plot that makes sense

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