The beginning of October marks a truly exciting time for those of us who love apple picking, scarves, Halloween, and pretty much all-things-fall. I know I personally couldn’t wait to get my hands on a PSL (pumpkin spice latte for our less basic readers)! As the weather slowly starts to cool off and the leaves begin to change, most of us are ready to engage in a little fall fun, especially of the spooky, creepy variety. If you’re one of those people, the cast of KVTA’s The Addams Family and Paradox Emporium have just the thing for you! This Saturday, Paradox Emporium in Bradley will host its first ever theatre night! We are so excited for this event and for the opportunity to be the first theatre group to collaborate with Paradox!
For those of you who aren’t up on all the newest entertainment trends, Paradox Emporium is an escape room business, an experiential form of entertainment in which participants are immersed in a live version of themed puzzle and are given a time limit to come up with the solution. I have previously participated in one of Paradox’s escape rooms, and I can personally attest to how fun and unique the entire experience is. Not only will attendees of the event on Saturday have the opportunity to participate in the escape room experiences at a discounted rate, (just mention KVTA or show our event flier and you’re in) but the cast of The Addams Family will also be performing musical selections and dances from their upcoming production.
I am pretty well versed in the world of community theatre, but escape rooms are not my forte, so to get the run-down on this new sensation I spoke with Paradox Manager, Skylar Kroll. The business is fairly new to the area and is owned by Skylar’s father, Don Kroll, who also owns Darkside Tattoo, located right next door.
Shortly after visiting their very first escape room together in Colorado, Skylar and Don decided to open Paradox Emporium in Bradley. Skylar shared a little about his inspiration behind the business venture, “Having fun in an environment where you're challenged mentally and sometimes physically is a form of entertainment not prevalent in our area, so we felt we could fill that gap and have a good time doing it. So far we've been correct!"
To date, Paradox has debuted three different themed escape rooms, Grandma’s Apartment, The Cure, and Paradox Alley. Each room varies in difficulty and they take varying times to complete. The first room that was available to the public was Grandma’s Apartment, which only took a few weeks to construct. The Cure came in second, taking about a month to complete, while Paradox Alley took a whole three months to finish.
Skylar also shared some of his thoughts on the connection between the gaming world, experiential entertainment, and even theatre. Skylar states, “To me, escape rooms, when executed in the best way, are a baby step of the future of gaming as we know it. Video games challenge the player to think outside of the norm… I believe escape rooms and similar activities, like adventure games, scavenger hunts, and interactive theater, provide insight into the future of virtual and augmented reality and how those things will allow us to challenge the way we think about entertainment. Everything is a learning experience, so our games should be too.”
As I worked with Skylar and Don to plan this event, I was happy to learn that they both also have a passion for the arts, Skylar in writing and literature and Don with art. Darkside Tattoo, Paradox’s neighbor, is another passion project in which art is combined with pop culture in a truly unique way. Don has resolved to make Darkside not just a “run of the mill” tattoo shop. Each design is unique and displays the artist’s skill and creativity. “It’s that commitment,” Skylar said, “that really shows the personal connection [my dad] has with the arts and the community at large.”
Paradox has been the proud host of many different events for the arts community, such as their monthly Art Jam and various music events. Skylar and Don are excited about the idea of bringing together artists from all walks of life to enjoy their craft and be part of a larger community that shares the same passion for the arts. I, for one, am thrilled to be joining Paradox Emporium on their journey to bettering the arts community in our area!
“An Addams Family Paradox” will be held this Saturday, October 7, from 6 to 10 pm and it is open to the public! Tickets to the escape rooms will be available at the door for only $15! Come from 7 to 9 pm to hear the amazing vocal selections and take in the fabulous dances from our upcoming production, and don’t forget to purchase your tickets to The Addams Family or any one of our other fabulous KVTA shows while you’re there! We’ll have drinks and concessions for purchase, plus your name will be entered in a door prize raffle if you come dressed in your favorite costume! If that’s not enough to pique your interest, the group with the fastest escape room times will win tickets to see The Addams Family! It’s going to be a creepy and kooky night you don’t want to miss!