Bridgerton experience makes haste to Chicago


Bridgerton Experience

Two performers dressed as Duke and Duchess emerge to captivate the audience with a spirited acrobatic dance bringing everyone back to season one of Bridgerton.

Put on your regency best — the “Bridgerton” experience has made its way to Chicago. Opening on Wednesday, April 20 at the XS Tennis and Education Foundation, the “Bridgerton” experience is filled with powder-wigged staff handing you the latest Lady Whistledown gossip and orchestral music taken from the show itself, welcoming the die-hard fans of the Shonda Rhimes show.

This coveted ball hosted by Netflix, Shondaland and Fever starts out by guiding you to  an 1813 London-inspired ballroom. As you walk through the gleaming string lights and purple wisteria flowers, you then enter the first main room — the courtroom where the Queen herself was seated on her throne.

After curtsying for her majesty, the festivities await, from posing for an oil painting (filtered photo) to trying one of “Bridgerton” themed drinks such as the “diamond of the season”.

After a few interactive dance scenes to the “Bridgerton” soundtrack, the Queen arises 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 starts out with the fan’s most memorable character of the show: the symbolic bee used throughout both seasons. The actor dressed in full bumblebee costume performs a special dance ushering the guests for an interactive dance routine.

Throughout this period piece, two performers dressed as duke and duchess emerge to captivate the audience with a lustful and flirtatious dance bringing everyone back to season one of Daphne and Simone-inspired movements. Along with the acrobatic performance, both actors use the silk curtains and chandelier to bring the crowd into cheers and maybe a cooling down with their fans.

After the dance act and beautiful violin performance by one of the musicians, the Queen finally decides among the maidens of the evening who is diamond worthy. Melissa Torres, a young maiden celebrating her birthday, had been nudged forward by her friends and instantly caught the eyes of the Queen.

Even the diamond — the coveted title of the evening — was surprised at the decision after receiving last-minute tickets.

Guests for the Bridgerton Experience pose for a picture in the Queens throne. (Bridgerton Experience)

“I didn’t even imagine I would be the Queen’s first pick,” Torres said. “I was completely shocked.”

Torres turned 31 on Wednesday and was dressed in the latest fashionable gowns along with her friends.

“Tonight has been amazing and getting on stage after being named the diamond was an experience I’ll never forget,” Torres said.

After the celebration of the fine selection, Lady Whistledown’s voice emerged from the above: “I don’t know about all of you, but I got what I came for.” After the 90-minute experience comes to a close, the familiar beat of “Single Ladies” by Beyonce booms through the stereos as the guests crowd the dance floor for another round of dances.

After shuffling to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” Rachel Downey fans herself along with her gaggle of maidens.

“We love dressing up and pretending to have an English accent all night,” Downey said. “They did a fantastic job — the best interactive TV show experience I’ve been to.”

As her friends giggle in response, they run back to stage to dance to the last song of the night.

Twirling around center stage at the end of the night, Rachel Morreit, spotted in a tulle pink regency-style gown, poses while her date takes photos for her followers.

“I work as an influencer and was asked to come tonight for the grand opening of the ‘Bridgerton’ Chicago experience,” Morreit said.

Morriet is a huge fan of the “Bridgerton” series and started binge watching when the pandemic began back in 2020.

“I love period movies so I knew I was going to enjoy “Bridgerton.” Once I heard they were setting up an experience here, I was so excited to be a part of it,” Morriet said.

Morriet considers herself a Chicago influencer and has a following on Instagram where she posts about the events and restaurants she’s invited to.

The night comes to a close with a swift ushering out and thank you before making haste to the gift shop and last-minute photos.

“Bridgerton” has been given the green light to continue for future seasons, giving the strong hope this will not be the end of local Chicagoans’ chance to live the lives of London’s once-elite.