Some experiences are so unique that it's difficult to compare them to other events. Delusion: Interactive Theatre definitely falls into this category. Compare Delusion to any other Halloween play, walk-through haunted house, or escape room, and even if it's not their best year, Delusion will still probably be the best ticket in town. With their newest effort, Delusion: The Blue Blade, creator Jon Braver and his team have put together another unforgettable experience, with uncanny special effects, impressive stunts, and superb performances.
Delusion: The Blue Blade Review - Living Up to the Past
The only metric by which Delusion: The Blue Blade falls short, in my opinion, is the high standards set by its previous productions - Delusion: The Blood Rite (2012) and Delusion Lies Within (2014) are nearly impossible to top. Delusion: The Blue Blade amps up the thrills at the expense of the chills. The 2018 play is less horror than science fiction-adventure. If you prefer those latter two genres, then Delusion 2018 may be your all-time favorite; personally I preferred it when the immersive experience felt like being dropped into a supernatural Lovecraft novel instead of being dropped inside an Indiana Jones movie.
Other than the genre shift, the only area that feels slightly lacking in Delusion: The Blue Blade is interactivity. This year’s script has participants on rails more than the open-ended paths offered in earlier years, when audience choices (which characters to trust, when to tell the truth, when to accept defeat) felt more impactful. The 2018 Delusion is still engaging and well written, but less of a "Chose Your Own Adventure" story than expected.
Delusion: The Blue Blade Review - Initiating the Uninitiated
For the uninitiated, Delusion is an interactive walk-through theatrical experience, which places you and your group at the center of the action, moving from set to set as you experience and often drive the story forward. It is possible to lose yourself in the crowd and simply watch the action unfold, but we do not recommend it. Don’t remain a passive observer; be ready to play your role and participate. I can't say any more without minor spoilers, so if you want to go in completely blind, stop here and go no further...
Once you check in and get your wrist band, you will be able to wait in the lounge at Fais Do Do. If you read the letter that was emailed to you to start the story, you know you're likely to meet someone named Josette there, though you might notice a man in a trench coat first. He's not very talkative, but he's definitely in-character from the moment you notice him. If you don't find Josette and make first contact, she'll find you. Once it's established you're who she's looking for things can really begin.
Your group is cast as initiates in the Safeguard Society, and Josette has a mission for you to become full members: you must track down The Blue Blade and its thief, Professor Evelyn Lowell. (Long-time Delusionals will recognize Lowell as a name that pops up repeatedly over the years.) The Blue Blade enables time travel, and you'll be chasing Lowell through the centuries
My group actually managed to lose track of Stanfeld, the man in the trench coat, in our attempt to tail him without being noticed, and Josette had to put us back on his trail. That's one of the things I love about Delusion: certain moments can go multiple ways; while there were several of these forking paths in Delusion: The Blue Blade, there seemed to be less than expected.
Our interaction with Stanfeld is a perfect example. The letter from Lowell gives specific instructions about how to deal with him. This seems as if it will lead to a moment of decision - whether to follow the instructions or trust Stanfeld; instead, we simply have to do as we were told. Likewise, when Stanfeld interrogates us, remaining silent is not an option; confessing is necessary for the play to continue.
Soon, you encounter time wraiths and androids from the future and find yourself captured by Nazi SS officers in occupied France, 1942 (if anyone in your group speaks German, there's a chance for some fun interaction here as the actors really speak German). Eventually, you follow Lowell's trail to the ninetieth century, learning more about the blade and the Safeguard Society, and then you visit maze-like Mayan jungles where you may get to swing across a body of water on a vine. Finally, mission complete (or perhaps not), you arrive back in 2018, but I wouldn't blame you if you head back to the '90s to make some savvy investments.
Delusion: The Blue Blade Review -Tips
- Rideshare to the venue if you can, or be prepared for a walk from your car. People are always coming and going as shows start and end, but there's no guarantee that you'll get a good parking spot, so plan ahead.
- Look up the venue and how long it takes you to get there, you don't want to be late. They run a tight ship at Delusion, which is good for those who value punctuality. I was in one of the last groups of the night and my show started on time, if you're late you might not get in and there are no refunds. You don't want an unexpected freeway delay to rob you of your experience and your expensive ticket.
- ·Dress appropriately. Once inside it can get rather hot, and you will get some exercise in there, so expect to sweat a little. There is a coat check, and they require you to check your coats, bags, purses, and even cell phones, so don't let that surprise you.
Delusion: The Blue Blade Review - Conclusion
Tickets are already sold out. The fact that this event can sell out 3 months worth of tickets in advance is testament to the impression previous years have left on fans. If you don't already have tickets, give the wait-list a try, Delusion is 5/5 for its 6th year running.
Delusion 2018 Rating
With Delusion: The Blue Blade, creator Jon Braver and his team have put together another unforgettable experience, with uncanny special effects, impressive stunts, and superb performances. Delusion is 5/5 for its 6th year running.
Update: The Blue Blade: The Director’s Cut, a revised version of Delusion’s Halloween 2018 show, runs February 14 through March 17 (not the originally announced June 30). The location is 5257 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90016142. Go to enterdelusion.com for more information.