Woodshed Collective takes audiences on an interactive theatrical journey through the streets, tunnels, and abandoned buildings of lower Manhattan on a quest to save New York City.
New York City is in danger of being stripped of the cultural vitality that makes it the most beloved city on earth because a mysterious, mystical substance behind its centuries of success is in danger. Beginning at a payphone in Lower Manhattan, 'Empire Travel Agency' gives audience members the chance to save New York City by embarking on a chase to find the recipe to this substance and prevent this elixir from falling into the wrong hands.
'Empire Travel Agency' is a story about our current place in history, and our collective and personal anxieties about the future.
"Gloriously inventive and appallingly fun, Woodshed Collective's theatrical scavenger hunt is easily its most ambitious and fully realized work...What this play does is use the city itself as a set. Sure, the show included plenty of spaces that had been transformed, but the ordinary places were often the most extraordinary...It won’t spoil anything to laud the director, Teddy Bergman, who keeps the pacing wonderfully breakneck, at least until the mildly effortful ending."
"Some of the thriller-plot twists are hard to follow: There’s a lot to take in amid many distractions, and the show’s tone is unsteady at first. But a zany satirical vein emerges pleasingly in the second half...Many of the actors have engaging moments but 'Empire Travel Agency' registers primarily as a marvel of coordinated inventiveness. Director Teddy Berman and production designer Gabriel Hainer Evansohn deserve special mention."
"The show gets a flat as it peters out into buzzkill. After more than two hours of high-spirited movement, 'Empire Travel Agency' reminds you of what's valuable - art, real estate, knowledge - but doesn’t take you somewhere satisfying."
"'Empire Travel Agency' is fun, and clever, and something more than that — an impressive if imperfect example of the kind of theater that is revitalizing the art form...The cast is uniformly adept in interacting with each individual theatergoer improvisationally, but “Empire Travel Agency” is fully scripted. Playwright Jason Gray Platt packs it with subtly hilarious digressions and throwaway wit."