NOTE: Since I saw this show during its beta testing phase, this is less of a review, but more sharing of my general thoughts on it.
Starting a new job isn’t always easy; you don’t know anyone, you don’t know exactly what you are doing yet, and the rest of your co-workers have been missing for weeks. Oh, wait, that’s not all jobs? OK, fine, that’s not usually the case, but it certainly is when it comes to NIGHT SHIFT, a new immersive experience opening today in Downtown LA.
Created by Rachel Foti, creator of Horror Escapes LA, and Off-Broadway theatre director Robert Glen Decker, M.F.A., Night Shift places participants in role of works at a creepy warehouse that is holding more secrets than you’d think. Over the course of an hour, you will learn more about your new job…and quickly learn what happened to everyone else who worked there before you. While the bulk of the story will remain a surprise, I CAN say that a shipment containing a certain mirror has arrived, and may be connected to what is transpiring…
I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that what Foti and Decker have created is something pretty unique. Combining elements of immersive theatre, traditional haunts, and escape rooms, NIGHT SHIFT was a ton of fun for my group. Right from the opening scene, the tone was set perfectly. We were ordered around by our shift supervisor whom, in between making us do tasks, subtly relayed the story to us. Not only was he slightly terrifying…but he was also pretty damn funny, too. However, even though we laughed, he never broke character, and was always intense in his delivery. It was a great way to start things off.
From there, we made our way deeper into the warehouse, uncovering the secrets that it held. The cast of characters we met along the way were all great; there wasn’t a weak link amongst them. Each one played their roles perfectly…one in particular even to the point of making us question whether it WAS part of the experience or not (it was…but she was so convincing!).
The set design was also pretty great. Sure, some of it came pre-packaged with the warehouse itself, but the set pieces made specifically for the show were very well done. One particular room comes to mind, with a character named Clarisse, that was pretty unnerving. It was simple, it was effective, and it was very well done.
It’s important to note that, while NIGHT SHIFT does have escape room elements, it is NOT an escape room. Sure, you will have to find codes and keys to unlock things, but this isn’t a race against the clock to get out; the inhabitants of the warehouse will help you along if you’re going too slowly, so don’t worry there.
Since we did see a beta-test, there will certainly be elements that evolve over time. Foti and Decker asked for feedback from every group that was checking it out, and have been incorporating some suggestions into the show’s final form. I had only two very minor quibbles to relay to them (one relating to story and one relating to how much ‘contact’ there was), but I am fully confident that this very small things will be worked out by the show’s opening.
Regardless, NIGHT SHIFT was some of the most fun I’ve had in an immersive experience before. My group and I had an absolute blast exploring the warehouse, and I am looking forward to going back once the show is officially open.
The show offers two ticket tiers, one full contact and one not. If you’re stuck between which, I would opt for the full contact. It definitely brings you more into the story.
Congrats to Foti, Decker, and their team for creating such a fun, unique experience. Go do it…you’ll have a blast!
NIGHT SHIFT is now open, and tickets can be found on their website at: http://nightshiftdtla.com