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The Study

mb stage productions, llc · Ages 18+ · flashing lights · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by PHILIP FERNANDEZ

June 18, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

I really liked the intimacy of the small theater and how close it put us to the action.

I also enjoyed that the characters hung out among us during the story’s prologue. Immersion is fun, so the more the characters engage with us, the better.

What I didn't like

Apologies if it sounds harsh, but I think Mona needs some work on having her dialogue sound more natural. Both my wife and I noted that among all of the characters, her speech sounded a lot more forced and artificial.

My overall impression

The show was fun! I enjoyed the intimacy of the small theater that put me closer to the action. The show was heavily based on the video game “Until Dawn”, to which you’ll very apparently see the connections if you’ve ever played the game. It’s almost like a live version of the game, but with an altered story and game-inspired characters.

Both the best and worst thing about the story comes down to the decision making portions. Making the decisions was fun… seeing how poorly many of the audience members chose was… not fun. There were several times throughout the show that seemed like most of the audience simply wanted characters to die. I mean, I can’t tell if the audience genuinely wanted to see characters die or if they really thought their actions would save lives, but our show ended up with only one survivor. The votes of me and my wife were essentially meaningless among the sea of bad choices that the rest of the audience might, resulting in the deaths of nearly all the characters. It was frustrating, but maybe the rest of the audience just wanted a shorter show with less characters alive. Who knows? To make matters worse, some of the audience members were audibly laughing at inappropriate parts of the show, which really killed the mood.

Regardless, kudos to the performers for having to learn more than what we can see in one night. I’m sure that’s no simple task. And good work to the script writers for working out how the story could branch out in each way. I’d like to see the results of each choice during the performance, but I know that’s impossible.

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