Los Angeles, CA
When we last covered the interactive theater phenomenon known as Delusion, it was in the thick of their 2018 fall production—The Blue Blade—and Jon Braver and his team had just announced that Delusion would be carrying over into the spring for the first time ever! Additional details were unveiled earlier last month, promising ”new plot twists, new audience challenges, new artifacts,” and more. And earlier this month, the first-ever spring run of Delusion premiered!
Set in the same Club Fais Do Do venue as last fall’s iteration, the director’s cut of The Blue Blade does indeed offer a few new twists and surprises to entertain returning Delusionals while maintaining the same awe-inspiring and exciting theatrics, stuntwork, and interactive theater that will thrill newcomers. The structure and basic plot of the show remain the same:
Present Day. Los Angeles.
The world has become erratic since the theft of the Blue Blade, an artifact of unknown origin rumored to give its owner the power to tear through the fabric of space and time. Once held by the Safeguard Society, an elite group of historians, the blade was stolen by Professor Evelyn Lowell...one of their own.
Evelyn went underground and unlocked the mysteries of the blade. For years she ran a black market, amassing wealth by taking clients to other eras. But as prying eyes grew near, she disappeared. Rumored to be protected by a shadowy cult.
The fate of time and space hang in the balance as Evelyn and the blade slip further away. As a sign of desperation, the Safeguard Society looks to you, their most promising initiates, to track down Evelyn and the blade.
There have been no leads. Until tonight.
However, there have been several enhancements made through various scenes—some subtle, and some more overt… the most noticeable of which is a new ending that elaborates upon and ties together the big storyline reveal in improved and more connected way than the original.
I had the chance to experience Delusion twice last week, once last Thursday for a press night with several other media members—most of whom had done Delusion before, and again on Saturday with some friends who were complete Delusion virgins. In both cases, our groups thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The veterans appreciated the production and the intricacies of the play, while the newbies were in constant awe of the grand spectacle of the environment and the impressive effects and acrobatics of the immersive show.
The encounter begins in the outdoor courtyard off of S. Cloverfield Avenue (which intersects Adams Blvd.). Guests are invited to arrive early for check in and enjoy a drink in a casual lounge environment serenaded by the tunes of electro-swing, hinting at the upcoming bridge of various eras come together. But before long the story fluidly begins, as the group is summoned by a Safeguard Society agent who briefs them on their mission and sends the gears turning for one sprawling sci-fi fantasy.
Despite doing Delusion twice in three days, I had unique experiences both times, as I had the benefit of being placed in different scenes at multiple divergent path points. Both nights also had different actors lend unique vibes to each show. The Thursday production, for example, seemed more adventure-driven in tone, with the guests being directed to perform multiple tasks to keep the story moving. On Saturday, there were less actions given to the guests, but the cast seemed to collectively provide a darker, more dramatic rendition, with more overt startle scares and sudden loud noises than either my Thursday encounter or my fall experience.
All of this demonstrates that no two shows of Delusion are alike—and sometimes not event almost alike. The diversity of cast and characters, variety of storyline paths for each participant to take, and interactive nature of Delusion offers different experiences each time. And they all heralded that exhilarating Indiana Jones-esque feel that really drives the sense of fun exploration active in all Delusion plays. It was just as much of a pleasure to see the brilliant cast perform as it was to see the individual players in our groups react and interact to each challenge and development presented before them. Experienced or not, the group members seemed to catch on and dive into the spirit of the production relatively quickly. Whether that mean taking more active roles or viscerally responding to various scene cues, it was clear that the spell of immersion definitely took hold!
Shows for Delusion - The Blue Blade (Director’s Cut) are still available for the next few weeks, into the middle of March. The original spring run extending into June has apparently been shortened to a more limited duration lasting through Sunday, March 17. Creator Jon Braver refused to divulge whether this fall will see another iteration of Delusion or not (although he admitted that he was probably done with rabbit hole of time travel plots for the foreseeable future). Braver’s current efforts are focused on expanding the Delusion universe to more accessible media. The Delusion: Lies Within VR series is one example. Hope for a television series on platforms such as Hulu or Netflix are another. Longtime Delusion fans may notice the recurring surname present in The Blue Blade—Lowell, Evelyn, in this case. A relative of other Lowells who have appeared in past Delusion shows. There’s definitely a universe being revealed here—a slow exploration of the inventive inspiration within Braver’s mind.
The alternative media formats will be awesome for growing the brand and recognition of Delusion, but they can’t compare with the intimacy and direct synergy of the live theater format of the originals. Next month, the Blue Blade will vanish into the mists of time, perhaps never to be seen again. This is your limited chance to see what Delusion is all about. Don’t miss it!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.