Exactly what will happen in the basement of the Palace Theatre this weekend is a bit of a mystery. But that is part of the allure of San Francisco’s newest immersive experience and “erotic masquerade,” Nude Noir.
“It's going to be more sizzling than burlesque. It's going to be less explicit than a strip club. It's going to be more titillating than a fetish party,” explained David Gluck, CEO and founder of Silverwolf Entertainment, Inc., which is co-producing the event on the border of North Beach and Chinatown.
Gluck has teamed up with Nude Noir creator Britt Sanja Jusic to bring the internationally touring sensual experience by House of Noir—Jusic’s entertainment company—from London to the Palace Theatre’s labyrinth of secret rooms for two steamy nights. An international cast of more than 30 models, dancers, shibari artists and erotic performers from London and across the Bay Area will take over the Palace Theater for two evenings of immersive and sensual performance art.
To be clear: It’s not a sex or fetish party, nor is it a straightforward piece of live theater with a linear plot. Rather, the sensuous showcase inhabiting the curves and corners of the Palace Theatre is more of “a provocative sensory experience that has narrative moments,” Gluck said.
“So you may feel a little hot breath on the back of your neck at a certain time. […] You may be invited to join some of the performers on the sofas,” Gluck elaborated. Audience members may have the “chance to peer into some noir moments through one-way glass or to be taken into a secret chamber for a private performance.”
San Francisco-based nonbinary pole dancer, CeZar The Superstar, wants his performance in particular will open audience members eyes to the athleticism and artistry of pole dancing in a performing arts context and “defy expectations” of femininity, masculinity and queerness in regards to pole dancing.
“I hope to really be a spectacle among spectacles,” CeZar said.
The seductive event will also feature an open bar, “sumptuous desserts,” DJ dance parties and a pop-up installation by San Francisco-based corset atelier Dark Garden where attendees can talk fashion or pose for a mini photo shoot. VIP ticket holders may even see one of their fantasies come to life during the course of the experience. Those who spring for the extra luxe tickets are encouraged to write to the character Madame Noirahead of time and tell her their “deep, dark secrets,” which could end up being played out in a private chamber or in front of the entire audience, Gluck said.
While VIP tickets are sold out, general admission tickets are still steep at $325 a pop, Gluck says the “uniqueness” of the experience makes it well worth the price—additionally, importing the show from London carries no small fee.
“We're going to provide a world-class experience,” Gluck said. “And hopefully it's going to create memories that last for a long, long time. For many people, hopefully, the night will have a lasting impact on their relationships and on their relationship with their own sexuality.”
But be sure to contain your excitement till the end of the night.
“It's still a model of restraint. […] The expectation is that audience members will contain their boiling passions and store them up like potential energy to be unleashed at a future time,” Gluck said cheekily, before taking on a more sincere tone. “I think, at the very least, it will spark some incredible conversation among couples about what may have intrigued them during the event.”
In the end, Gluck thinks the show could set the mood for a steamy date night.
“You might go home and have the best sex of your life,” he said with a wink.
The Palace Theatre, 644 Broadway
Oct. 14 & 15, 10 p.m. | $325+
Christina Campodonico can be reached at [email protected]