Nestled inside the heart of New York’s historic Diamond Horseshoe nightclub, ensconced below the infamous Paramount Hotel, is the wickedly-entertaining Queen of the Night adult dining experience. This multi-sensory show is a mélange of hedonistic delights that offers a decidedly unexpected dinner theater adventure in the heart of New York City.
While the evening dinner seating for the show is incredibly popular for obvious reasons, I opted for the Saturday 2:30 p.m. brunch matinée replete with breakfast fare served pewter-pattered feast-style. Whichever show you choose, the Queen of the Night will surely be a memorable experience. The moment you walk into the door, you’re handed a craft cocktail and escorted down the winding stairs to your seat by a crew member who emphatically advises you to “say yes to everything,” a mantra repeated by multiple other staffers at touchpoints throughout the experience.
Here, having a closed mind and saying “no” is simply not an option and, understandably so. A resistant mindset will definitely undermine your perceptions of the spectacle that’s replete with acrobatic artistry, magic, interpretive dance, music, saucy comedy, fire, gastro gluttony and more as the Queen’s captivating carnival keeps you wholly engaged. I equally advise you say yes to it all.
Queen of the Night commences with a brief bar-side reception as guests are being escorted into the intimate nightclub-esque venue. Throughout this process, there’s free-flowing wine and signature cocktails served amid passed canapés and savory appetizers stacked high on silver trays. This as electronic music and interspersed acrobatic artists set an exuberant mood while the masked Queen herself stands hauntingly at center stage in all her glittering glory to greet VIP-level guests in her own enigmatic way. As a guest, you may choose from varied levels of admittance with each proffering fabulous fare over-the-top pageantry. Each adult-only (age 21+) reservation level has unique and memorable features.
The baseline option is the Gala Reservation, whereby guests are welcomed into the eccentrically-adorned venue and gifted with an alcoholic elixir from the Mad Distillery Bar where tasty hors d'oeuvres are also at hand. From there, Gala guests (and all others) enjoy a sit-down brunch served with decanters of wine and other beverages. The brunch menu on the day of my show was traditional breakfast fare, including breads, soft scrambled eggs, bacon and large-form link sausages. It is more than one could ever eat in a single sitting. While the Gala level includes general admission seating, there is really not a bad seat in the house.
The next-level Premium Reservation is comprised of all Gala luxuries, and includes VIP reserved priority seating. In addition, a dedicated server delivers premium libations tableside throughout the experience. The Queen provides each Premium guest with a special gift of free-flowing drink options from the Mad Distillery Bar.
The top-tier option is the Ultimate Reservation that includes all of the wonder the Premium Reservation affords and adds the opportunity for each guest to relish in elite access to select brunch benefits. This special right of entry provides guests the opportunity to indulge in premium wine and spirits as well as specially-selected fare that’s handpicked by the Executive Chef. This exclusive option also includes personalized table service to ensure an evening fit for royalty. But, for the truly self-indulgent there’s the Queen’s Choice reservation that’s custom-designed to satisfy the authentic desires of the guest.
Wardrobe-wise, be sure to dress to impress, as the dress code is strictly-enforced: the Queen’s staff has orders to deny entry to those who are not properly attired. As one can seemingly never be overdressed, all are encouraged to don their “finest jewels, vintage gowns and swankiest tuxedos,” formal wear fit for a Queen’s court.
Fashionable gallivanting and gastronomic delights aside, the heart and soul of the Queen of the Night show is the entertainment. This tastefully sexy and flagrantly flirtatious variety show features an array of talented and beautifully-costumed performing artists who deliver sensational and provocative stunt, dance, illusion, fire, comedy and other routines that, combined, can be described as controlled chaos in the best possible sense.