Company XIV in 2006, bopping around different Manhattan locations until settling into a permanent home in an outer borough former warehouse in 2017.The naughty theatrical dance troupe now opens its second space, the more intimate Cocktail Magique Theatre, for an evening of burlesque, magic, libations, tarot card readings, and cirque-style revelry.Incense hangs in the air as you enter the vestibule, which features a quaint bar stand overshadowed by a wall-mounted crystal ball.
Pass through floor-to-ceiling velvet curtains, and you arrive in a narrow, Prohibition-style speakeasy. A bar runs the room’s length, with several rows of stage-side seating, couches, and high-top tables.Leaving no rhinestone or pasty unturned, resident costume and scenic designer (along with the atmospheric lighting of Brian Tovar) Zane Pihlström creates a seductive backdrop for illusion, maximizing every inch of the unconventional space.Those who splurge on a luxe couch for two with a fortune teller upgrade will be whisked pre-show or during one of the two intermissions through the bustling kitchen dishing out vegan dumplings and faux fried chicken for a quick reading from singer-actor and cartomancy expert Chelsea Ng.
Company XIV’s brilliance is its use of multi-hyphenate talent who don’t dare stay in their lane. McCormick, who’s choreographed for the Metropolitan Opera, Kennedy Center, and other more stoic venues, loosens the reigns with his own company.“I’m very much inspired by the performers in the company and what their unique talents are, so it’s certainly a jumping-off point in terms of how to utilize these amazing performers of XIV,” said McCormick in an interview with The Broadway Blog. “Even though the company’s such a mixture of genres.
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