A frightening, kinky, and darkly humorous theatrical experience is coming to Las Vegas in time for Halloween.
Abandon is the newest show that will terrify and entertain audiences for a five-week run in the vibrant Las Vegas Arts District beginning Thursday, October 5, 2023.
Set in the dark corners of 1800s Paris, audiences will enjoy a frightful night as they follow a man in an insane asylum. Inspired by the life and writings of the Marquis de Sade, Abandon is a horror production like no other.
Joshua Berg (Blue Man Group, Wicked The Musical) stars as Marquis de Sade and recently caught up with Out Traveler to tease everything in store.
OT: Congratulations on the new show Abandon. It's coming just in time for Halloween, so what is this show all about?
Joshua Berg: Thanks very much! The show is an opportunity to get lost in the dark, depraved mind of the Marquis de Sade; to be witness to his experiences, exploring extreme torture and sex. Basically, it’s about being turned-on but terrified at the same time.
The show is rated R, so the kids aren't allowed to come. What kind of adult themes can audiences expect?
The name of the Marquis de Sade is where we today get the word "sadism" from. The Oxford Dictionary explains sadism as 'the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.’ That should give you a good idea of the show’s themes.
Abandon is based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade during the years he spent imprisoned in insane asylums, which is pretty terrifying stuff. How would you say that's depicted on stage?
The show’s director, Jana Wimer, has been making horror experiences for more than 20 years! It's really incredible to work with her. We've taken a lot of inspiration, not only from de Sade's writings, but also from the things one could get thrown into the asylum for during this time - things such as postpartum depression, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. that we now categorize as mental health issues. Basically, we're exploring the darkest parts of the human psyche and performing them onstage. We are channeling de Sade's willingness to push the boundaries as far as he could.
The fact that this show is so scary and kinky feels perfect for Vegas. Why do you think people should come see this show during Halloween time?
There’s nothing else like this! It’s so right, it’s so fitting and already the interest and response is incredible. The people of Las Vegas are clearly gagging for some sick and twisted scary sex!
Your credits include Blue Man Group and Wicked The Musical, but how does Abandon compare to your previous work?
Yes, it’s a slightly different vibe. You know, maybe a little less child-friendly but perhaps I’ll still catch just as many balls in my mouth? Weirdly, this gig probably requires less make-up than the two you mentioned!
What are you hoping audiences will take away by watching this show?
All theatre and all art should make you feel something. I want the audience to feel something. Maybe it’s horny, maybe it’s scared, hopefully it’s both.
One fun last question for you - what's your favorite part of Halloween?
This is kind of silly, but my favorite part of Halloween are the pumpkins. I love that originally the candles in the window were to guide the departed souls back home. Halloween traditionally is when the veil between the living and spirit worlds is at its thinnest, so I think it's wonderful that we are invoking the spirits during this spooky season. De Sade loved the theater, so I find it fitting that we've crafted a show inspired by him for the Halloween season!