Text and photos by Stacie Joy
Since mid-October, 308 Bowery at First Street has been home to Paradise Alley, Duane Park’s elegant outdoor dinner theater.
This twice-nightly COVID-safe outdoor sophisticated supper show includes a reservations-only set-price three-course meal (adult beverages not included), while roving performers and live band ALMALUNA entertain the diners, semi-ensconced behind partitions that block the wind.
Since the event is outdoors, onlookers and passersby get in on the experience as well, and I watch several truckers pause from unloading goods nearby to enjoy ariel artist Marcy Richardson and peignoir-clad glamour burlesque star Tansy as well as contortionist Ellie Steingraeber on the hula-hoops. Knife-tossing Paris the Juggler, magician Albert Cadabra and stripteuse artist Lilin Lace are also on hand keeping the crowd entertained.
Chi Chi Valenti and husband Johnny Dynell. I take a few minutes between performances to ask her some questions about the show, the space, and what live entertainment looks like during the time of coronavirus.
How did the idea of Paradise Alley at Duane Park come about?
No, people are starved for entertainment and what we do is unique in this climate!
Thoughts on the future of Duane Park as we head into winter? What’s next for the space?