HOTLINE: It’s not matchmaking, it’s an immersive journey
In the heart of Old Montreal, where the cobblestone streets meet pulsing beats, something unusual unfolded on Sunday, September 3rd, during the final long weekend of the summer. A temple of the nightlife, Auberge Saint-Gabriel, temporarily transformed into a young witch’s cauldron of spellbinding burlesque performances and enticing social connections.
The iconic inn hosted the launch of Hotline — the first of a series of interactive events conceived by Amour à Trois, the trio of artistic directors Lavender May, Felix de la Nuit and Yerko. It was anything but your typical night out. With the rules of the game clearly defined, this was an affair that sought to blur the lines between spectator and spectacle.
Getting involved was easy but also a part of the allure. Online ticket reservations were a must, but the cherry on top was an option to personalize your experience in advance through Hotline’s Instagram account. A series of whimsical questions, replied to via direct message, were asked to discern your personality.
Upon entry, guests received color-coded bracelets — red, blue, or yellow — that acted not merely as chic accessories but as conduits for a tailored experience. These “mystery personality” identifiers became the key to unlocking an evening designed just for you.
Far from being an aesthetic afterthought, the colored bracelets served as direct channels to the actors of the night. Les Amuse Girls, a popular troupe of burlesque performers, attuned their interactions to the color on your wrist. Wearing blue? She’d play hard to get. Yellow? She’d send mixed signals. Or red? She’d make you the center of her world.
The inaugural thrill of the evening? Gaining entry into the enigmatic “Curiosity Room” demanded a social sleight of hand: you had to forge impromptu alliances with two other individuals, whether familiar faces or newfound companions, each donning a differently colored bracelet from yours to be allowed in this exclusive sanctuary; where one of three secret performers awaited on the center stage – fire eater Mini Azur, circus artist Maggie Chan, and draglesque dancer Miami Minx.
Inside, you were beckoned to choose from one of three telephones, each mirroring the color of your different bracelets. As you put the receiver to your ear, a seductive voice revealed your “mystery personality” (Blue? Sensual and mysterious. Yellow? Rebellious. Red? Bold and vivacious) before inviting you to vocalize a personal fantasy you would like to see manifested at the next riveting installment of Hotline.
Amidst this electric atmosphere, revelers surrendered to the hypnotic beats spun by an ensemble of great DJs — Andrew Pololos, Anthony D’Urbano, Laura Scavo, and Yerko — dirty dancing the night into euphoric oblivion.
So, why was Hotline more than just another chapter in Montreal’s legendary Book of the Nightlife? Because it was a social experiment that delivered an exciting level of personal interaction and artistic engagement. It was a celebration of your individuality, a place where making connections meant forging something meaningful and magical.
So if you ever felt the need to break the cycle of routineus social events and dive into a sexy odyssey tailored just for you, let’s just say, Hotline was and will continue to be your ultimate call to adventure.
Featured image credit: Lady Lune | © Karel Chladek
From fine dining restaurants to boutique hotel staycations to high society balls, V is a lifestyle writer who unlocks some of Montreal's best-kept secrets.