8:30- Uber drop-off, outside unmarked warehouse
First thought: It looks like the YMCA where my old middle school dances were held. Second thought: I still regret wearing all those turtlenecks.
8:31- Handed glass of champagne
I had heard talk of unusual performances, surprise (cannabis edible) appetizers and avant-garde video art. My middle school self would’ve run out the door and poured emotions, fears and yin-yang signs into diary. Fortunately, Montgomery Knott, founder of Monkey Town 4 (established in Brooklyn, circa 2003), calmed all nerves by articulating basic Monkey Town FAQs: Go in, enjoy, and remember: this isn’t supposed to be a party (keep it together).
8:45- Aperitifs and (optional) appetizers
…more pouring of bubbly, option of sweet brownie-like appetizer. Completely voluntary, encouraged by Knott to take in very tiny doses, if one should choose to do so. I should choose to do not. Though, Knott did explain the edible as one that stimulates the brain, rather than “doping it up.”
9:00- The cube is a vision
I bet Lady Gaga has one in her kitchen or something. We (the 32 diners, that is) took a few circles around the cube before ducking under the screens, and heading inside for the rest of the night.
9:00-10:30- The cube is in session
It’s theatrical. It’s an auditory, visual and sensory restaurant pop-up that is a delightful challenge to the very definition of dining. Five courses were served, with delicious wine pairings- executed by local cult faves: City O’ City, The Populist and Noble Swine Supper Club.
It’s a modern cinema-in-the-round that is something of a foodie-art-carnival. Yes, there’s some nudity. Yes, there’s some strange imagery with interesting musical pairings. At one point, a spectacular soprano-singing wolf appeared. It was beautiful and thrilling, unusual and awe-inspiring. Go to Monkey Town 4, and leave expectations at the door. You might not know exactly what you’re eating, what you’re watching or even what you’re feeling. The unknown, adventurous nature of this installation is all part of the beautiful, escapist trip.
Monkey Town runs every night (except Mondays), at 6 pm and 8:30 pm, through June 1st. Tickets range from $50-80 and can be purchased here. It features 17 artists, and vegan/vegetarian/gluten free options are available.