May 15, 2024 - News

First Look: Inside "The Friends Experience" in Boston

Axios Boston reporter Steph Solis sits on an orange couch (a replica of the iconic "Friends" couch) and holds an umbrella while posing for a photo at "The Friends Experience" in Boston.

How you doin'? Photo: Courtesy of The Friends Experience

Steph here. I got an early look at "The Friends Experience," an exhibit that opens Friday in Boston and runs until mid-January.

The intrigue: If the 2019 Friends pop-up at Time Out Market is any indication, the installation will draw "Friends" superfans from across New England to celebrate the TV show's 30th anniversary.

  • The tour was wasted on me, a casual fan at best, but the spokesperson who guided me insists it's a good time for anyone vaguely familiar with the show. She wasn't wrong.

What to know: The installation opens Friday morning at 343 Newbury St., down the street from the Central Perk coffee shop that opened last year.

  • Tickets start at $22, plus taxes and fees, with bundles and photo packages available for more.
  • The gift shop is open to the public, even if you don't buy a ticket.

The interactive displays span three floors (there's escalator and elevator access) and range from a replica of both apartment sets, wigs depicting Rachel's hair and the infamous "pivot" couch.

  • Here's what I saw.
A photo of a wall with a ticket painted on the wall at "The Friends Experience" in Boston. This recreates what the first live studio audience ticket for the show, "Friends Like Us" looked like before the showrunners even finalized the title.
This recreates what the first live studio audience ticket for the show looked like before the showrunners even finalized the title. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A photo of an installation at "The Friends Experience" in Boston showing a studio plot drawing, art from artist Burton Morris, which appeared in Central Perk, and costume designs by designer Debra McGuire.
Some of the initial set designs and art that would appear on the Central Perk set. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
An installation showing an outfit each major "Friends" character had at "The Friends Experience" in Back Bay Boston.
Each character had a specific color palette that determined what their wardrobe would look like. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A close up of an autographed script of the "Friends" pilot in a glass case at "The Friends Experience" in Boston. The show was then titled "six of one."
An autographed copy of the pilot episode, which at the time had another name. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
Wigs showing "Friends" character Rachel Green's hairstyles throughout the series at "The Friends Experience" in Boston.
Wigs showing Rachel's hairstyles throughout the series. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A large off-white couch, replicating Ross' infamous "pivot" show on "Friends," hangs against a stair bannister at "The Friends Experience" in Boston.
A replica of the infamous couch (before it was split in half). It'll also be a big photo-opp spot for visitors. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A replica of the guys' apartment set on "Friends", complete with Hugsy plush sitting on one of two black recliners. It's at "The Friends Experience," a new installation in Boston.
A replica of the guys' apartment, complete with Hugsy. Visitors are encouraged to take a seat or pore through the room in search of Easter eggs. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A replica of the foosball table in the guys' apartment in "Friends" appears at "The Friends Experience" in Boston. On the wall are several "doodle boards" showing different illustrations from various episodes.
The foosball table and doodle boards. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A replica of the set of Monica and Rachel's kitchen in "Friends" as seen in "The Friends Experience" in Boston.
The ladies' apartment set, looking Monica-level clean. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
An installation at "The Friends Experience" in Boston that shows a timeline of each character and their relationships.
A handy timeline of everyone's relationships. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A corner shows a wall full of posters and fliers and in front of the fall are a keyboard, guitar and mic as a tribute to Phoebe from "Friends" and her "Smelly Cat" song, as seen in "The Friends Experience" in Boston.
A corner dedicated to Phoebe and the "Smelly Cat" song. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A glass case with a replica of Turkey Head, a nude, raw turkey, from "Friends" as seen in "The Friends Experience" in Boston.
Would it even be a "Friends experience" without turkey head? Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
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