Futuristic Rock Opera Meets Immersive Sound
Part rock opera, part German Expressionist cinema dressed like a McQueen runway, CAGES is an innovative story-based musical production presented by Woolf and the Wondershow. It’s a surreal two-hour live experience that begins when audience members are ushered through the unmarked door of an anonymous Arts District warehouse; then once inside, visitors first discover CHEMIST, a fully operational speakeasy focused on emotional mixology. The venue is open before the show and engulfs guests into the world of CAGES through detailed set design and projection mapping, with landmarks and clues around the space foreshadowing the theatrical experience.
The producers describe the show as “future theater,” serving up a visual feast of animation, illusions, dancers, and real and virtual actors. These visuals are paired with a 360° soundtrack of live and recorded music, narration, and sound effects delivered through an immersive 19.1 L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology configuration.
The show creators Benjamin Romans and CJ Baran developed the story of CAGES: set in Anhedonia, a dystopian world where emotions are forbidden, and everyone’s hearts are locked in cages. After meeting Madeline, his muse, Woolf—played by Baran—is determined to write a symphony powerful enough to set everyone’s hearts free.
They originally started with a stereo system, but the show creator duo were disappointed when the sound system they had initially installed at the warehouse failed to do their production justice. CJ Baran stated, “We got really frustrated because our visuals were on point. It’s a powerfully visual show and very immersive—not in a traditional sense, but there’s a sense of escapism.”
That’s when L-ISA entered the picture. According to Baran, “I got emotional over the sonics the first time I heard the L-ISA technology. I was misty-eyed, going from where it was and how frustrating it was to then hear the music the way we wanted to hear it. There was so much clarity; everything was breathing. It was a game-changer, and we knew that L-Acoustics loudspeakers with L-ISA was the solution we desperately needed. Everything also feels so incredibly clear, natural, and full—and yet so intensely and breathtakingly intimate. When combined with what’s going on visually, even the most experienced theater patrons are absolutely taken aback by how immersive and impactful this production is. And that wouldn’t have been the case without L-ISA. It’s everything we had heard in our heads and more.”