"It's like walking out of my worst nightmare that has come real."
This was how my friend from home (Nebraska) described walking out of the Box when I took her there over a year ago. It had already passed over from a fun PG-13 Moulin Rouge-like establishment into the raunchiness we all know today.
There is a shockingly accusatory expose on the little nightclub that could: The Box, in this week's NY Mag by Alex French, and I admittedly couldn't put it down last night. Besides getting into full descriptions of many of the acts (even reading them is hard for me), Alex uncovers loads of he said/she said type scandals that seem very detrimental to Hammerstein's reputation. The last time I went to the Box was months ago. I had to cover my eyes for most of the show.
I walked out exhausted, my blood pressure had been raised to it's highest level in years, I was actually NERVOUS about what was going to happen next. Now, granted I'm not exactly the most sexually open person in the world (my midwest strict Catholic upbringing to credit), but still. It was raunchy to say the least, 100 times more so because I was sober. If pushing people passed their boundaries is Hammersteins' goal, he has surely reached it. According to him:
"Everyone at The Box should feel like it’s a constant bath of Dionysian debauchery,” Hammerstein says. “That’s what I’m selling: mystique and mystery and sexual openness.”
I am honestly at odds of even copying any more of the details from the article because they are too explicit for our GofG readers (NY Mag is clearly more "grown up"). Basically ANYTHING you can imagine has probably already been done on stage at the Box.
Our writers on this site have documented the drug rings, the rape stalkings, police raids, and the pushy doormen. But I have never personally touched the place. Until now where I will simply say this: The Box is not for everyone. And nightmares are not meant to be relived.