Your ticket entitles you to the privilege of exploring a unique, flawed, melodramatic, and incredibly intriguing world. There is a theater, and there are performers, but there is so much more. Both of those rules are still in the rubble of the smashed theatrical norm.
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Within Theatre Macabre, you are encouraged to wander, explore, and to talk to anyone and everyone you possibly can. You see, by interacting with the colorful characters within the walls of Theatre Macabre, you are doing things, saying things, and making decisions as to what your path will be in the show. Think of this as an instant gratification butterfly effect. Russell: So, how does this work? You enter a building in downtown Los Angeles and you cross paths with people who work, play, and maybe even live there.
How you choose to greet these people and interact with them, determines what will happen during your time within the walls of that world. Not wanting to spoil any specifics, I will reveal that I found myself searching for specific people who it was recommended I meet to gain information. I whispered codes phrases to employees of the Theatre. I demanded explanations as to the well being of a performer I thought may need medical help. I was slipped notes with clues as to who might be able to tell me the truth behind the sinister-appearing managerial staff of Theatre Macabre.
At each turn, I felt awkward and fumbled my way through a specific quest I decided to go on. And… it was wonderful. My own awkwardness and doubt in what I was doing heightened my sense of vulnerability and my level of excitement.
This was high stakes emotional poker I was playing, and the consequences were deeply disturbing. The highlight may have been a simple, emotional scene as I rested on a bed with a young woman who told me the story of her family. Ten minutes later a different character stunned me by revealing the truth behind the scenario she had described to me. It was shocking and saddening and thrilling all in the same moment.
Mike: This is a show that will get you out of your shell.
You will have a better time if you do talk to as many people as you can. You will never know what is around each corner or where each conversation may lead you. I, also, was given secret phrases to tell people, which led to a few things that made me giggle with evil delight. I went on a walk with a specific character that took me up a flight of stairs and past other areas.
Russell: I definitely wound up on a specific path… with a specific goal I was trying to reach.
Theatre Macabre (TV Series –) - IMDb
To be honest, I failed in achieving what I set out to do and, in the end, I watched something very painful happen as a result of my failure. I am confident if I had achieved my goal, the outcome would have been much different. The possibilities feel endless. Good or bad, my actions created the story line I was witnessing.
The people I met and choices I made it seem like such a free flow show. It felt like it was real and that these people were real. Russell: I agree the cast is incredibly strong and adept at adjusting moment by moment to what the patrons are doing. As patrons, though, you do have to approach this as something you participate in, not just witness, if you want to get the most bang for your buck.
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As intriguing and wonderful as this universe is to explore, I understand this show is not for everyone. I know some people would not enjoy the amount of effort it takes to makes this a worthy experience. This show will not come to you easily. If you decide not to engage with the cast, you will see a fascinating world come to life around you. Indeed, there is a strange narrative that seems to drive the overall event and at times you will end up being instructed to join others so certain information can be shared by all.
Actions and Detail Panel
Regardless of their path, every attendee will progress through Theatre Macabre with that sinking feeling that they hold the power of life and death in their hands; few sensations are so jarring and energizing. Audience agency in Theatre Macabre is expansive, nearly complete in this production—a trademark by now of Tension LLC productions—put into action here in brilliant fashion. What you choose dictates your own triumph or tragedy; few productions so deftly maintain narrative control while still granting such autonomy to their guests.
Theatre Macabre is terrifying, exhilarating art at its best; it takes audiences on a wild, personalized ride into the unknown. As for me, knowing all the secrets of Theatre Macabre is a pipe dream—my story here is my own, and different from all others. Theatre Macabre runs through November 4th, Each time slot only accepted around ten people meaning that you were very visible to all the characters in the show! What impressed the living hell out of me though was not only did they remember our names throughout the night but they even knew that we came together, I was shocked when one character mentioned both of our names to me.
Tiny detail in the scheme of things but it really stunned me! I have nothing but admiration for performers in these types of events. They have a script to follow but also have to be open to improv because the outside guest element is one that can be prepared for but never truly predicted.
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Being able to toe that balance of keeping to the script but allowing for some bend is a real skill. Every guest appeared to have their own story and how they timed this and linked everything up must have resulted in major headaches! But it was completely and utterly flawless. And the great thing about it? Even though I think I have some idea as to what was happening, I could still be completely in the dark as there was so much else going on.
This is definitely a show that would reward a second visit. And to be very clear, there was a solid conclusion to the evening. It was more the fact that I left yearning to discover more rather than the show having a massive void where the ending should be. All in all, we had an amazing time at Theatre Macabre. We were simply floored by the sheer scale of what was unfolding before us.