Las Vegas is known for thinking outside of the box but a team from Sin City may be reinventing the way people enjoy the nightlife scene. With an immersive and theatrical approach, House of Leaves is hoping to give customers more than a night of good music; they’re hoping to tell a story. The House of Leaves team is taking a chance with what is sure to be something new in Vegas; the first, but not the last. CELEB spoke with Mark Eteson and Andrea Frey to understand the concept behind House of Leaves and find out what people can expect when they step through those magical doors.
What is House of Leaves? It’s a nightlife adventure that brings music, theatrical immersion and art together. House of Leaves is a magical transportation to a land where you’ll listen to music, dance, and enjoy the atmosphere all while being wooed by a story that happens around you. Think night at the theater meets night at the club. The production company team behind the magic is comprised of president of Bluebird Wood Enterprises Eteson along with Bluebird event producer Frey. They’re backed by a team that includes some of the industry’s top heavyweights: Zee Zandi is booked talents, Gaz Brooks is advisor of promotions, and Genevieve Cleary of Belluscious Productions handled program direction.
Eteson explains, “Andrea and I were at the Hakkason group together, doing shows across their venues, but then the pandemic hit. It stripped us both of our roles. I started up a company, and Andrea was out there building her production company, and we decided to come together.” Eteson and Frey wanted there to be more to the nightlife experience. Eteson adds, “I’ve been DJing now for 17 years and in Vegas for seven, eight years now. I’ve seen the level of production that we can do in Vegas. But I’ve also seen shows like Absinthe, where you feel more involved than just looking at the show. I wondered; is there a way to combine these elements? A way to give people a more elevated nightlife experience?”
After years of driving by the Keep Memory Alive center and admiring the Salvador Dali-like architecture Eteson asked Frey if they could use it to create something special. “It’s going to be like some of the club experiences that we’ve been through before, but it also will have this added element of a show that happens in and around the tables, and on the dance floor at the same time.”
Frey adds that they wanted to focus on a blend between the music and the experience. “We want the experience and the setting to speak for itself, about what this whole thing is all about.”
House of Leaves will draw guests into a fantastic and magical atmosphere with trees and lighting designed to take people out of the busy Vegas city and transport them somewhere the imagination runs wild.
Immersive and Theatrical
Performers will move in and around the audience, pulling them in. It won’t just be the atmosphere and music setting the stage, guests will also feel like a part of the story. Eteson and Frey share that they aren’t focused on money, although they understand that to create the dream they’re imagining they have to invest in it. They want to do something new that speaks to the people we’ve become after surviving the pandemic.
Eteson shares, “Vegas is the nightlife capital of the world, and we’re all here because we’re in this industry. But before COVID, Vegas was almost on cruise control.” The House of Leaves team wanted to bring new life to Vegas. The Strip went basically back to normal after the pandemic lockdowns lifted but the people were different. House of Leaves is a new show for a new people.
The inspiration came from a love for literature, and a book of the same name by Mark Z. Danielewski which was a groundbreaker in the world of experimental fiction. In the book, the house is larger inside than the outside would suggest and it breaks all the rules to tell a story some believe is a horror, and others accurately pinpoint as a love story. Eteson explains, “My mum’s a librarian, while I obviously produce music. But reading that book made me approach music differently. It made me realize there are no rules. The book isn’t directly linked to the event, but it inspired the name and inspired me to approach this in different ways, and take a few more risks.”
The House is also like the planet Earth, and tells the story of how we were separated from each other but this is our chance to reconnect. Throughout the evening lyrics will include the themes of, “my house is your house, and your house is mine.” All set against the backdrop of the forest brought inside, it promises to be a magical night of connection.
Frey adds, “I have always been good at translating a concept into a space and making it work. When I had to create a forest and Mark took me to the Keep Memory Alive Center the idea came to me easily. We have these huge trees made by a company called Majestix. They use a phenomenal woodworker. He’s creating the bigger pieces for me. All in and around the whole area we’re working with live trees, fake trees, foliage and all sorts of things you’d find in a forest. You feel like you’re in the forest. And of course I like to add some technical elements as well so there’s long LED strips blended into the set which allows us to make big changes with little movement.”
The three DJs of the night will have their own Season to represent, starting with Eteson at Autumn. DJs Rony Seikaly and Eelke Kleijn will follow with Winter and Spring, and then the performers will converge for Summer and regrowth. The show runs November 13th.