The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing
Location: Cambridge, MA
Date Played: December 15, 2022
Team size: we recommend 2-6
Duration: 2.5 hours
Price: around $90 per ticket with VIP tickets for more and standing room tickets for less
Accessibility Consideration: For the full narrative experience, you’ll need to go up and down stairs multiple times. And while you don’t need to dance, you absolutely should!
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
We fell in love with Club Drosselmeyer in 1939.
The first time it was 1939, it was also 2016. We were surprised and delighted to find an event that combined puzzles, character interaction, stage acting, cocktails, music, and dancing. We were even more astonished that this fusion worked.
After 3 more years in person, and 2 years remote, 2022 looped us back to a new 1939. Club Drosselmeyer began anew with a fresh venue. There were also new performances, puzzles, scenes, and props. It was the same story, but it wasn’t the same show. It had grown up.
Club Drosselmeyer is so impressive in how it manages to be so many things at once to all the different people attending.
It didn’t nail every individual component. In particular, the performances were less captivating than in years past, partially because the venue was so large and it was easy to miss them. But Club Drosselmeyer delivers spectacle like nobody else, and the way they weave so many diverse elements together is truly alchemy.
We brought our own something special this time: 30 friends. Seriously. We bought seats at adjacent tables and solved our way through the show in groups of 3-6. We shared (or refused to share!) our puzzle solutions. And we delighted in how our friends approached certain challenges. It was incredible to experience this show with our community.
We’re planning to bring an even larger group next year. We hope you’ll join us. Keep your eye out for the perfect 1939 cocktail dress or suit because you’ll need it next December. We’ll let you know when details for the next Club Drosselmeyer are available.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Jazz lovers
- Swing dancers
- Immersive theater fans
- People who are fine with crowds
- People who don’t need to be part of every interaction
- Any experience level … for puzzlers or dancers
- The puzzles… or the characters… or the dancing… really, it’s up to you
- To appreciate the dance that is the production
- The spectacle
It was 1939 in Club Drosselmeyer, a world where The Nutcracker has been reimagined as a World War II techno-conspiracy. The Club’s owner and brilliant inventor Herr Drosselmeyer needed our help. His old club had burned down, war was brewing overseas, and some nefarious types were looking into his research. There was a rat in Club Drosselmeyer and we needed to find it.
Club Drosselmeyer found a new home at 1950 Mass Ave in Porter Square at the Cambridge Masonic Temple. The building was beautiful.
As we followed the characters and helped them in their quests, we experienced scenes in a few different exquisite rooms within the building.
Club Drosselmeyer 1939 was an immersive game with a high level of difficulty.
It required a team effort, with different teammates focusing on different challenges.
Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles, interacting with characters, watching performances, and dancing.
Each guest at Club Drosselmeyer chooses how they want to spend their time and how much they want to engage with the different options available to them.
➕ The puzzles were great. They were mostly paper puzzles, but they were thematic and fun. They tapped into a wide variety of skill sets, so there was something for everyone who wanted to engage with them. They were challenging, but not impossibly so. I thought they were well calibrated so that we had to earn our way through the story.
➕ As we solved puzzles, we received little 3D printed props that we would later assemble into a MacGuffin… that delivered an impressive reveal during an early key scene. We loved the little fiddly bits. This added something extra, in terms of mission and surprise.
➕ We appreciated that Club Drosselmeyer took advantage of their new building by staging scenes in different rooms. We got to take in the architecture. It also helped spread out the crowd, as guests of the club started to depart the main ballroom to seek out other interactions in other locations.
➖ While the traversal of the Masonic Temple was fun, it had its challenges. Later in the evening, there were many large groups moving through the space, crowding each other, and waiting for their turns to experience scenes. For a less mobile player, multiple trips up and down the stairs proved to be too taxing. However, skipping the stairs meant skipping some of the main story beats and not experiencing the plot unfold.
➕ Club Drosselmeyer handled the large groups well. Scenes were segregated enough so that they weren’t spoiled while we waited for our group’s turn. Toward the end of the night, groups merged together for scenes so that as many people as possible could see the story all the way through, and this didn’t diminish the experience.
➖ The performances didn’t hold my attention as they have in past years. They weren’t the show-stopping moments that had previously paused everything else from puzzles to character interaction to drink orders. I found my eyes wandering away from the stage and back to the puzzles. Additionally, with so many people outside the main ballroom in pursuit of characters, they didn’t create the same “everyone” moments that they have in the past. In fact, some of our teammates missed almost all of them.
➕ In the first Club Drosselmeyer 1939 (in 2016), the fastest team decided how the show would end. In the new Club Drosselmeyer 1939, everyone who completed their mission impacted the ending. Each group’s experience mattered. The fastest teams were recognized, but they no longer held all the power. And with so many talented puzzlers converging on Boston for this event, this was a good change. The race was less intense, but that left more time to savor the journey, which we enjoyed. And if you finish early, well, the best things always happen while you’re dancing!
Tips For Visiting
- Parking: We encourage taking mass transit (Red Line to Porter), taxi, or ride share.
- Food: There are ample food options in the neighborhood.
When tickets open next winter, book your evening at Club Drosselmeyer, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.