“The Bodyshop Experience” is a dinner show with a twist
A new 90-minute dinner show featuring live graffiti art, a laser show and breakdancing has opened in Wynwood — taking the place of an old auto repair shop.
At “The Bodyshop Experience,” guests enter a dimly lit room, covered with exhaust pipes mounted on the walls, decorated with shipping containers and car rims, and with staff dressed like mechanics. Performers dance to a variety of music, reminiscent of Miami nightclubs.
Sover Atlan, 38, the show’s creator, said he decorated the venue to immerse guests in the experience, enabling them to disconnect from their lives.
“I call this a ‘sweat experience.’ You’re with the performers, you feel them. They’re close to you,” said Atlan, who has created over 35 musical and big stage productions in his native Israel.
Atlan said that while having dinner with longtime friend Moishe Mana, the developer of Mana Wynwood, the venue caught his attention and was instantly inspired to create a show that would fit the area and bring a real experience to a city full of glam.
“What becomes viral these days is raw talent,” Atlan said. “People want something that is real. They don’t want a big production. They want to see raw, talented people.”
“The Bodyshop Experience” show includes a full-course meal. The appetizer consists of humus, bread and olives. As guests indulge in their Mediterranean starter, the performance begins.
The show itself transitions around the audiences’ meal. When guests finish their appetizer, waiters clear the leftovers and remove dirty plates. As the staff cleans up, the performers make their way onto the floor. They walk around saying hello and taking selfies with the audience.
Guests are then served their second-course. They have a choice of either a beef skewer or salmon as their protein, accompanied by salad.
As the audience finish up their main course, performers gather back on stage and continue the show.
For dessert, an assortment of pastries accompanies the final stretch of the performance, which includes a graffiti painting of Michael Jackson.
The performances continue for several hours after the dinner tables are cleared.
Atlan, who has been working in the entertainment industry since he was 17, said the show — performed Friday and Saturday nights — will evolve throughout its four months at Mana Wynwood, an incentive to bring back guests.
The bilingual show, which includes some rough language in English and Spanish, isn’t suitable for a younger audience. Atlan said he is working on a family-friendly version to be performed on Sunday afternoons.
Sammy Hawk, the host of the evening, is in charge of setting the mood. He approaches audience members, making them a part of the show. The Venezuela native said he and his fellow performers are allowed to express their artistic expression by playing more than one role in the show.
“The fact that we are part of many acts and learn from every artist makes us all very well-rounded,” Hawk said. “I don’t think we should be labeled as just dancers, because we can do it all. I’ve learned about acting, percussion, as well as entertaining people in a manner I wasn’t used to.”
Working alongside choreographers, Atlan recruited performers he thought possessed street-like a talent. Once castings were over, it took three-and-a-half months of rehearsals to be ready to perform for an audience.
For Sandra Woodley, the food complemented the performance and the pastries satisfied her sweet tooth. Woodley compared the venue and the performance to something she had seen in New York City, but, believes it to be a better production.
“You can still enjoy eating your food while you watch the show, you don’t get disgusted,” Woodley said after a Friday night preview, a day before the official opening on March 24. “It is very sensual. It was a good show and I really appreciated it.”
If you go
“The Bodyshop Experience,” is performed 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami.
General admission tickets are $95 each. For reservations, call 786-740-6392.
For more information, visit www.thebodyshopx.com.