Fans of The Office, rejoice. Starting Friday, you can sit at a replica of Michael Scott’s desk and pose for that Instagram shot. For $37.50 (or $45, depending on the time and day), plus taxes and fees, you can visit The Office Experience, a pop-up museum of sorts for people who love all things Dunder Mifflin.
The Office Experience is located in the space on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile once occupied by former fast-fashion giant Forever 21, which I frequented as an early-career cog at the Tribune Company just across the street. The Trib Tower itself kicked out its journalist tenants in 2018 and is now a luxury condo building. But I digress.
The interactive experience is a joint venture between Universal Live Entertainment and Superfly X, which recently produced The Friends Experience in that same space. Stacy Moscatelli, the company’s co-president and chief strategy officer, told WBEZ The Office was a natural successor. The series, which had a passionate fan base from its television run, has been gaining new audiences and became the most streamed show in 2020.
“We thought it was a great opportunity to give fans the first time to step into Dunder Mifflin,” Moscatelli said at a media preview of the space this week.
In these strange pandemic times, Superfly X and Universal are banking on people to get out of the house and visit what’s essentially a 2000s replica of a regional office of a mid-sized paper company. What a time to be alive. Not to worry — masks are required, the number of visitors is tightly controlled and there are plenty of hand-sanitizing stations on hand.
There’s a part of me that knows The Office Experience is a cash grab that capitalizes on people’s obsession with TV shows and posting stuff on social media. But another part of me — the one that crushed on early-aughts John Krasinski, the one that still watches The Office every now and then to numb myself from the horrors of each day — was happy to pose like a dweeb at Michael’s desk and ask the poor PR rep to take a pic of me. Superfly X, you sly fox, maybe you can do Squid Game next.
Anyway, below are some photos from the media preview. The Office Experience will run through Jan. 17, 2022. Tickets are available here.
Esther Yoon-Ji Kang is a reporter for WBEZ’s Race, Class and Communities desk. Follow her on Twitter @estheryjkang.