It’s every fan’s dream to step inside the world of their favorite TV show. At “Only Murders in the Building: Backstage at the Goosebury,” that dream becomes reality.
The currently airing third season of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building follows the central trio of Charles, Oliver, and Mabel (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez) as they solve the murder of Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd), killed on the night of his Broadway debut. The debut in question was staged at the fictional Goosebury Theater, filmed in the very real United Palace Theater in New York City.
That’s where “Backstage at the Goosebury” comes in. At the immersive experience, fans can explore the theater where the season was filmed and get clues to the season’s mystery along the way.
The role represents Streep’s return to television since the second season of Big Little Lies.
When they arrive, guests are given a program for Death Rattle Dazzle, the musical from the series, complete with in-universe headshots of the cast, a haunted history of the Goosebury Theater, and ample space to take notes as they put the clues together. They’re also given a UV flashlight, the key to finding the hidden messages littered throughout the experience (including in that program).
Word nerds should rejoice: the playbill also features a killer crossword puzzle with clues and answers pulled from the world of the show. The crossword has a second hidden puzzle inside it — no spoilers.
Upon starting the foray into the theater, fans will be greeted by table after table of clues, including plenty of props used in the actual series, from the sheet music for Death Rattle Dazzle’s catchiest tunes to a full-blown shrine of Ben Glenroy merchandise, including novelty socks, movie posters, and the giant golden cobra featured in Ben’s apartment. (May he rest in peace.)
Looking at these clues with a UV flashlight reveals secret messages about who might be responsible for the murder. The clues don’t provide much new insight — after all, the season isn’t over, so they can’t give too much away — but the fun of living out a detective fantasy and scouring every possible surface for new reveals can’t be overstated.
The costumes on display are also truly jaw-dropping, perfectly encapsulating Broadway kitsch with more sequins than you can count. Some of the clothes on display have yet to feature on the season, giving a mini sneak peek at what’s to come in the final two episodes of the season.
A friendly staff of in-character actors, playing Goosebury employees and police officers, direct the journey through the theater, including stops at key locations from the series like Ben Glenroy’s dressing room, the set of Death Rattle Dazzle, and even the White Room, the abstract place Charles disappears to when having theater-related breakdowns.
Characters from the show are placed throughout the theater in the form of cardboard cutouts, who you can sit by in the audience as you gather your evidence, snack on concessions, or just admire the beauty of the theater, maintained since its construction in 1930. Getting to go backstage at the theater, including onto the stage, would be an adventure in itself, so the Only Murders in the Building theming is just the cherry on top.
And once you’re on the stage, there are multiple photo ops — first with a broom to sweep away the ghost Gideon Goosebury, and then on the steps of the lighthouse set from Death Rattle Dazzle.
Along the way, you can leave your mark on the theater, adding your name to a signature wall and placing a pin in the photo of the suspect you think carried out the crime. Guests interested in makeup can get touch-ups from Rare Beauty, Selena Gomez’s cosmetics brand, and every guest will leave with a set of swag inspired by the series.
Fans can get free tickets at this link. If it’s sold out, don’t worry — there will also be a standby line for non-ticketed guests. “Only Murders in the Building: Backstage at the Goosebury” is open this weekend only, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on September 23 and 24.
And if you’re unable to make it, fans can still catch the final two episodes of Only Murders in the Building, airing Tuesdays on Hulu.