Bridgerton experience rushes to Chicago
Put on your best regency – the “Bridgerton” experience has caught on in Chicago. Opening Wednesday, April 20 at the XS Tennis and Education Foundation, the ‘Bridgerton’ experience is filled with dusty-wigged staff who hand you the latest Lady Whistledown gossip and orchestral music from the show itself, welcoming the hardcore fans of the Shonda Rhimes Show.
This coveted ball hosted by Netflix, Shondaland and Fever begins by guiding you to a ballroom inspired by London in 1813. Passing through the fairy lights and purple wisteria flowers, you enter the first main room – the courtroom where the queen herself sat on her throne.
After curtsying for Her Majesty, festivities await, from posing for an oil painting (pictured leaked) to trying one of the ‘Bridgerton’ themed drinks as the ‘diamond of the season’.
After some interactive dance scenes to the “Bridgerton” soundtrack, the Queen stands up and asks us to follow her to the main event of the night in the ballroom, decorated with chandeliers, and a live orchestra. performing some of the latest pop songs, including Ariana Grande.
The ballroom scene begins with the show’s most memorable character for fans: the token bee used throughout both seasons. The actor dressed in a full bumblebee costume performs a special dance ushering guests in for an interactive dance routine.
Throughout this period piece, two performers dressed as a Duke and Duchess emerge to captivate the audience with a lewd, flirtatious dance that takes everyone back to the first season of Daphne and Simone-inspired moves. Along with the acrobatic performance, the two actors use the silk curtains and the chandelier to bring the crowd into cheers and maybe a chill with their fans.
After the dance number and the beautiful violin performance of one of the musicians, the queen finally decides among the young girls of the evening who is worthy of diamond. Melissa Torres, a young girl celebrating her birthday, had been pushed by her friends and instantly caught the attention of the Queen.
Even the diamond – the coveted title of the evening – was surprised at the decision after being given last-minute tickets.
“I didn’t even imagine I would be the Queen’s first choice,” Torres said. “I was completely shocked.”
Torres turned 31 on Wednesday and wore the latest fashionable dresses with her friends.
“Tonight was amazing and stepping on stage after being named the diamond was an experience I will never forget,” said Torres.
After the fine selection was celebrated, Lady Whistledown’s voice emerged from the above: “I don’t know about all of you, but I got what I came for.” Once the 90-minute experience is over, the familiar beat of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” reverberates through the stereos as guests crowd onto the dance floor for another round of dances.
After listening to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” Rachel Downey fans herself with her group of young girls.
“We love dressing up and pretending to have an English accent all night long,” Downey said. “They did a fantastic job – the best interactive TV show experience I’ve been to.”
As her friends laugh in response, they return to the stage to dance to the last song of the evening.
Twirling center stage as the night drew to a close, Rachel Morreit, spotted in a regency-style pink tulle dress, posed while her date snapped photos for her followers.
“I work as an influencer and was asked to come tonight for the grand opening of Chicago’s ‘Bridgerton’ experience,” Morreit said.
Morriet is a big fan of the “Bridgerton” series and started binge-watching when the pandemic hit in 2020.
“I love period films, so I knew I was going to enjoy ‘Bridgerton’. Once I heard they were having an experience here, I was so excited to be a part of it,” said Morriet said.
Morriet considers herself a Chicago influencer and has a following on Instagram where she posts about events and restaurants she’s invited to.
The night ends with a quick start and a thank you before rushing to the gift shop and last-minute photos.
“Bridgerton” has been given the green light to continue for future seasons, giving strong hope that it won’t be the end of Chicagoans’ chance to live the life of London’s elite.