Accomplice: The Village
nytheatre.com review by Robin Reed
March 17, 2007
This time of year always brings me strange feelings—it's too cold to go outside, but staying indoors starts to get real old. I was plagued with these feelings over the past weekend, and nearly wussed out of seeing this show because I didn't want to walk in the snow.
Well, thank heavens I came to my senses, because the Accomplice team has done it again!
The hit show/tour/mystery/adventure now has a run in the West Village, which provides a perfect backdrop for the show—I've lived in New York for the better part of a decade at this point and I still get tripped up when the streets have names instead of numbers! There are stops along the way that I had never been to before, old standbys, and places I just never thought I'd ever be—have you ever been inside one of those fortune teller parlours? (The original Accomplice covers Lower Manhattan, including the Financial District, South Street Seaport, Chinatown, and Soho and will run simultaneously with the current production.)
Accomplice incorporates many theatrical forms (improvisation, the monologue, interaction to name a few) into your three-hour tour. You are given a meeting point, then sent on your way. Each character you meet up with has something to tell you, and you'd better listen up, because it's probably a clue! You, the "audience," are part of a group of up to eight, and you have to work together to solve the puzzle and move forward. Literally. You get your first clue, and then a character spills you the next one and so on. Sometimes clues are planted in the last place you'd expect, sometimes you have to recall something you heard or saw from a previous meeting. Accomplice is part dinner party murder mystery, part one-(wo)man-show, part three-ring circus, and all fun.
Accomplice: The Village picks up where the original show left off. Well, at least, it starts to, but some twists and surprises arise and before you know it, you're off and running. Everyone in our group (my companion and me, and a brother-sister-father team) had seen the original; all along the way we compared stories from last year. Even though we were hip to the scene, so to speak, we all had moments of complete disbelief and how clever this thing is. (You don't have to have seen the original to follow this one, but you might want to anyway, just because it's fun).
Obviously, I can't really go into much detail of what actually happens during the show—if I were to tell you who or what you were looking for, it would surely ruin the fun. If you've seen the original, there are still surprises that will pop up, clues that might actually stump you and a satisfying finish. But even if you are new to the show and have no idea what Accomplice is all about, you'll be amazed at how quickly you get sucked into the world. Maybe it's just that I'm super Type A, but I almost immediately forgot that it was cold outside once I realized that I had a mission, and only three hours in which to accomplish it!
One of the best parts of the whole experience is the impromptu after-party at the last stop. Creators Tom Salamon and Besty Salamon Sufott are there along with the wonderful cast and the teams before you, and everyone is just dying to share their experiences. Kick back, have a drink, and tell your story.
Grab a bunch of friends, or let the Salamons team you up; either way, Accomplice is a blast; a real treat for visitors as well as been-there-done-that New Yorkers.