Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: (Toronto) Visitations

Visit This
Interactive Paranoia and Paranormal
by Jason Booker

So Visitations resembles one of those dinner-party murder mysteries.  You know them?  They were popular about twenty years ago where everyone takes on a character from the personality cards offered, complete with secrets which lead you to figure out who killed Mr. Body – wait, he’s from that Clue game.

Anyway, Visitations is kind of like that.  Except with the paranormal and ghostly interference. Toss in some notes on dark magic, secret meetings in alleyways, a puzzle-box or two and a few experts with motives and backstories of their own to serve as guides and a show like Visitations is created, complete with creepy online trailer (so check out their website at the link below).

oh boy, this show contains it all

Now yes, those murder mysteries were corny as all get-out and that’s where this show is different.  If you can suspend disbelief and listen carefully to the story about the Sabbaticus and the device that calls upon this spirit, a fully-formed yarn unravels before your eyes.

Lucy has uncovered a strange boxy device that her great-grandfather, Charles Fort, was investigating the nature of about a hundred years ago. The device is missing just one piece. And it seems that the piece is somewhere in or near the hotel Mr. Fort was staying at.

Oh yes, there’s a hotel, is this the first mention of it?  All this is all set at the Drake Hotel right on busy old Queen Street.  So once everyone has had a chance to mingle, participants are divided into smaller groups to create more intimacy as they wander through the levels of bars and performance spaces at the hotel, to an apartment next door and the nearby alleys. Sometimes groups encounter total strangers which guides may deal with, sometimes those people will ask things like “Are you on a scavenger hunt?” and sometimes it’s just weird stares.  But that’s all part of the mystery – who is in on this quest to carry out Lucy’s will to open the box?

Be warned, the show is not for the queasy, your phone should be charged and left on and there will be moving out of your seat but, oh boy, this show contains it all.  Such a well thought-out universe of suspense and inner riddles – whether involving black-light or fog machines – Visitations takes the audience through so many interactive twists that you never quite know which way to turn or what might be important. 

The ending seems abrupt but realistic after such an intense scene and the final image is not to be missed – so stay tuned after the credits and keep your Tarot card handy at all times.

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