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A Review of Accomplice: San Diego

Stop traffic—this mobile street play keeps you on your feet

By Erin Meanley

Just when I thought I’d seen it all…

Last night I attended La Jolla Playhouse’s ACCOMPLICE: SAN DIEGO, part of their Without Walls series. It was the most unique theater experience I’ve ever had.

There were about 12 audience members total. A few days prior, each of us had been phoned by an actor—in character—from a blocked number, telling us where and when to meet.

An actor found us at the appointed time on a corner in Little Italy and the journey began. I won’t give away the locations or the plot, but basically it followed an ex-criminal in hiding who needed our help connecting with other ex-cons.

Actors were planted throughout Little Italy—on the streets but also in businesses and restaurants. The acting was really good—more than once, I couldn’t tell who was in the play and who was just a man on the street. It was interesting how the lines between reality and fiction blurred.

There were times Accomplice was more of a scavenger hunt than a play. The actors would give the audience clues and an assignment and then we would essentially exit the performance. Suddenly, we were part of the play!

I went with a friend and that might have been distracting because we weren’t always 100 percent engaged in the action. But several of us had clues or props to hold—or a line to read—and we did participate most of the time.

It was cool to see a few restaurants’ secret nooks and private patios I’d never noticed before. It was good exposure for the businesses, too. (The play was interesting on so many levels…as a business model, marketing strategy…) Appetizers and wine/beer were also offered along the way and were certainly welcome with this critic. 🙂

Another cool perk of Accomplice: the exercise. Normally when you plan to see a play or musical, you sit all day at your office desk, and then you sit in your car and drive to the theater where you sit for two to three hours more. But hey, it’s really true that physical inactivity is the number one cause of health problems—more so than cigarettes or sleep loss—so this type of theater falls right in line with the needs of the day. (Dork that I am, I set the pedometer on my iPhone and found that during the course of the show I walked about 4,000 of the recommended 10,000 steps a day. Not bad! Thanks, Accomplice.)

Round of applause!

See the show in Little Italy. For more info, click here.

A Review of Accomplice: San Diego

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