immersive theatre · 2cents theatre group · Ages 16+ · United States of America

world premiere
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June 08, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

The actors were phenomenal- these types of shows are notoriously poorly acted— to the contrary of that, this is a super STRONG cast with lots of solid actors and their commitment was lovely.

A sketchy dude who was NOT from the show appeared at one of the locations and the actress who was with me at the time did a nice job of staying in the moment. I liked the element of using stuff- a dystopian show on the streets of Los Angeles at night? I mean, this is a freakin great concept.

I liked that I got to have a different experience from my friend who I went with. I like that potentially, I could go back and have a totally different experience- I really wish I could go back and do this again.

What I didn't like

What I wanted most that I didn’t get was the why… I feel like I’d care a thousand percent more if some of the vague mystery was turned into a specific bit of info. I saw some complaints about the language I disagree with that criticism-Yes, it IS dense and poetic, but that’s awesome.

However, I think with that, some things should be “Given” to the audience a little more clearly- what are the specifics of how we got here and what is wrong, why do we care other than a vague “end of the world” warning. I’m pretty sure those elements have already been considered and put into the production, but I feel like the show suffers from not letting the audience members in on some of that. Who is the queen and why should even be afraid of her? how did this all become a problem? I felt like I wasn’t in on the secret- this was a big topic of conversation for. a lot of folks who chatted after the show.

I wanted way more time in the “yard” area.

The activity level of this show should be stressed a lot more- I was recovering from a cough and came SUPER close to having to be “that” person and either stop or ask my guide to slow down- I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced that or will experience that- I’d say just make sure the actors are mindful of if the group is keeping up- there was something really fun about the momentum of chasing an actor down a street, but it was a lot. For those attending, wear sneakers, come hydrated and ready to move- clocked about 3 miles during the show!

My overall impression

I have SO many feelings about this, and that alone is a positive thing, even if some of the thoughts and feelings are constructive.

I want to start out by saying that my Unreal City experience ended with a twenty minute conversation on a street corner with a bunch of strangers (all debriefing about our various experiences) followed by a great chat at the taco truck with another group of folks who’d done a later showing. The fact that a big group of strangers all felt compelled to talk about our experience should be considered a massive victory.

PRO TIP: If you’re working on a fringe show, go to this show, hang out and chat after, and say the magic words: what show are you working on. …this is a DREAM setup, especially if you’re not the most enthusiastic about constantly pitching to strangers… also a great place to make some fun new friends!

This show is so clearly the undertaking of the century- a cast of 26 or so actors, a production team, an absurd amount of locations- I don’t want to do too many spoilers, but I was half-immersed and half shocked every time we walked into a new location- HOW ARE WE GETTING TO GO INTO SO MANY PLACES? Can I have your location scout? The producer in me was popping out to wonder how this was all put together- from locations from the various tracks all coming together and timing, from quality control of how more than 20 actors are all following their own only semi-scripted, if that dialogue. How all these people learned to do such amazing “T-S-Elioting” a term coined by Johnny of What Went Wrong to
describe when someone seemingly converses in TS Eliot text.

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