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Perry Farrell Says Jane’s Addiction’s Theater Tour Will Have ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Vibe

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Jane’s Addiction have long been known for their provocative stage shows and frontman Perry Farrell’s unquestionable onstage charisma. That said, it should come as no surprise that Farrell says the legendary Los Angeles outfit’s upcoming “Theatre of the Escapists Tour” will take inspiration from the dramatic “Boardwalk Empire” era, complete with video mapping, “immersive theater” and — get this — a new character named “Bubba.”

“We’re starting to go over stage design and put together the stage, and I’m really happy that we’re under way,” Farrell tells Rolling Stone. “The style of the show is what I’m calling ’20s surrealist with a ’60s, Warhol pop twist. I’m going through old archival films and finding some crazy stuff, like 1920s stag films.”

He goes onto say that the show’s concept takes from the “Broadway Empire” era. “I love that time period,” he exclaimed. “It’s exciting – you had the speakeasies going and the underground people played a very big role in people entertaining themselves. The whole flapper thing was going on, and you had the surrealist movement.”

Yet another glorious inspiration is a theater performance he saw in New York called “Sleep No More. “They took over a five-story hotel for immersive theater,” says Farrell, “whereby the people there to see the play were allowed to walk through this hotel, and then every once in a while a performer would come through.”

That’s where “Bubba” comes in. “We want to do immersive theater, too. We’ve always had Siamese dancers, but we’re gonna add another character, Bubba, who’s going to be, in a way, the great escape artist,” he says. “He’s going to be moving people around, doing things in the audience.”

Farrell concludes, “But I want the audience members to dress, as I said, with that ’20s surrealist twist if they can, or at least like they’re going to a prom, because they’re going to be within the show itself.”

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