Upon meeting the rest of the group, all looking sufficiently confused, at said eyeball — the first of several things we would discover about San Diego’s Little Italy we had never known (who knew there is a rather large eyeball sculpture on State Street? Not this writer) — we were approached by a dark-clad character who implored us, fidgety and tense and constantly looking over his shoulder, to follow him down the street, into a hotel and up into a room where he promptly shut all window shades and let us in on his plot involving several “colleagues” he had “spent some time with. Upstate.”
We were given a few more ambiguous instructions and some seemingly unintelligible clues. And then, rather suddenly, and without ceremony, we were left to our own devices, 10 strangers equally clueless as to what would happen next.
It was all part of “Accomplice: San Diego” the La Jolla Playhouse’s latest installment in its Without Walls (WoW) series. In existence since 2010, the series brings site-specific productions to locations throughout the city, offering unique theatrical experiences without the confines of the actual theater.
This particular production is unique in its interactive structure — not many plays turn the audience into the actors. Even fewer force them to use their brains to “solve” the play’s mysteries and lead to its conclusion by combing city streets, interacting with passersby who may or may not be a part of the show. By the production’s end, all the audience members had developed a healthy case of paranoia — everyone we encountered was suspicious.
To divulge what ensued following our group’s clandestine run-in with our felonious friend would be injudicious. Not only would it put me and my fellow aiders and abettors at risk of retaliation from some very unsavory characters, it would ruin the readers’ fun, should they decide to become co-conspirators — that is, audience members. Be warned, however: this show is designed with a certain type of person in mind; namely, those whose moral compass doesn’t always point true north. After all, this is one play where no one is innocent, and everyone is an accomplice.
The initial run of “Accomplice: San Diego” was extended through April 21. Audiences are limited to 10 participants per show, with several shows per day (no show on Mondays). For show times, tickets and more information, visit lajollaplayhouse.org.
If you go:
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. “Accomplice” requires a fair amount of walking.
Plan on being out for about two hours.
Only those 21 and older allowed. The show includes some small bites and cocktails.