Rock Band Murder Mystery

immersive theatre · some company · Ages 18+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by ERIK BLAIR

June 23, 2019 certified reviewer
tagged as: Neat idea · flawed execution

What I liked

I like the general idea of doing a larp-type experience where the audience is cast in roles and gets to play through a scenario in whatever way they wish. So the general premise of the show sounded fun before I came and still does afterwards.

What I didn't like

There were two big problems for me with this show.

First, the ‘mystery’ was largely a bust because the story was very straightforward in the end AND because each audience member got a sheet with different ‘things’ they remembered (clues). And yet, the way clues were ‘remembered’ created a scenario where everyone remembers something at the same moment AND everyone’s clues were essentially EXACTLY the same. Meaning that I (and everyone else) started with one assumption as to who was responsible and NOTHING changed that assumption—and we all got to it at exactly the same time and the same way. When you call something a ‘Murder Mystery’, I expect twists and turns and different information that has to be judged for accuracy. We got none of that.

Second, if I hadn’t been one of the band I think I would have been deeply disappointed with the show. The other ‘characters’ never really got a chance to DO anything (at least I got to play Guitar Hero). The non-band were given roles that mattered not at all, as far as I could tell. Some of the audience MADE choices that made a difference—but as an example of a LARP, I felt like this fell short in giving audience members something specific to do. And as an immersive show that might help audiences want to experience a LARP, I felt it falls short as well—because I talked to two audience members who were actively turned off from LARPs as a concept because they had experienced this one.

My overall impression

A somewhat interesting idea that was largely flawed in its execution. The ‘mystery’ wasn’t much of one because of how clues were presented and the ‘rock band’ part was not as much fun as one would have hoped.

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