A Touch of Weimar Cabaret in Times Square

Boîte: Paradise Club

Times Square

Times Square may be the crossroads of the world, but in terms of night life it might as well be the Bermuda Triangle: a place where big dreams go to vanish. So leave it to Ian Schrager, the hotelier and former Studio 54 co-founder, to try to bring some nocturnal buzz back.

In March, he opened Paradise Club, a Weimar-ready cabaret spectacle at his latest hotel, the 452-room Times Square Edition. It features a two-hour floor show, “The Devouring” (courtesy of House of Yes), that is a high-concept reimagining of a William Blake poem and features half-clothed acrobats, ballerinas and an operatic cover of “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails. The overall effect is somewhere between Cirque du Soleil and a Super Bowl halftime show, reimagined by Twyla Tharp.

The Place

The club is on the seventh floor of the Tokyo-style hotel, where the elevator opens onto a darkened space the size of a large New York steakhouse. The décor feels very den-of-sin, with its Hieronymous Bosch-inspired murals and a gloriously hellish red electric supernova covering the ceiling.

The Crowd

With a ticket price of $195 (dinner is included; drinks are not), the cabaret crowd is what you may expect: hedge-fund types rocking hockey-puck-size watches and designer wrap dresses; middle-aged tech bros in expensive-looking black T-shirts; executive-class tourist couples looking for a little New York sex and sizzle; and the occasional table full of club kids in black eye shadow, all grown up and apparently ready to brave Midtown. Diners on a relative budget can choose to sit at the bar for $95 (snacks included).

The Playlist

The show bubbles along with a globe-trotting blend of soul-tinged dance music and electronica (“Can’t Turn Around,” by the Foreign Exchange; “Yali Yali” by Nese Karabocek). After the two-hour extravaganza, the space becomes a nightclub, with big-name D.J.s including Q-Tip, Mark Ronson and Questlove spinning.

Getting In

Tickets are available on Eventbrite and soon OpenTable, as well as by phone or email. Partygoers seeking to hit just the nightclub can expect a velvet-rope door policy and a $20 to $30 cover charge.


Patrons feeling flush can spring for a $670 bottle of 2006 Tattinger Comtes de Champagne or sample a $25 Manhattan (bourbon or tequila) from a drink trolley that circles the room. The 12-course menu includes caviar nachos and Yozu oysters on the half shell, courtesy of John Fraser, a Michelin-starred chef.

Paradise Club, 20 Times Square (near West 47th Street); 917-558-0376; paradiseclubnyc.com. Cabaret show, Wednesday through Saturday, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Dance party, Thursday through Saturday, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

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