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THEATER REVIEW: La Jolla Playhouse’s “Accomplice: San Diego” in Little Italy

A mysterious phone call from a stranger tells you the secret meeting location where you and a group of close friends (or total strangers) will assemble and become part of a, well, let’s just say a slightly shady adventure.

It’s “Accomplice: San Diego,” La Jolla Playhouse’s fourth site-specific “Without Walls” presentation, a sort of treasure hunt in which you walk the streets of Little Italy, gathering clues from odd characters lurking on street corners and duck into hotel rooms and bars trying to get your assigned job done.

Despite the planned “meetings” with oddball characters, this is almost do-it-yourself theater in the sense that the fun is largely dependent on the involvement of the team you’re with. I was with a largely student group, who threw themselves into it – and hurtled us down the streets at a relative sprint; consequently, we finished about 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

Tom Salamon and his sister Betsy Salamon-Sufott first created “Accomplice” in 2005 in New York, where it became such a hot ticket that it sold out months in advance. They’ve since done a Hollywood version and one in London. Advance tickets for the San Diego version sold so well that the run was extended before it opened.

“Accomplice: San Diego” features local favorites Kevin Koppman-Gue, John Rosen, Michael Nieto and J. Tyler Jones, along with imports Jared Grey, Hannah Logan and Oliver Rayón. My favorites were Jones and Logan; I’ll leave you to find out why.

The Playhouse has been so successful with its “WOW” series that it has planned a whole “WOW” festival in the fall, featuring 12 to 15 site-specific works. If this is any sample, it should be a great series.

I’m a San Diego native, and I saw parts of town I’d never seen before. If you like games, theater or both (and don’t mind a bit of walking), you’ll have a good time at “Accomplice: San Diego.”

The details

“Accomplice: San Diego,” part of La Jolla Playhouse’s “Without Walls” series, has been extended through July 7 in Little Italy. Starting locations, dates and times to be announced HERE.

Performances start every half-hour from 4:30 to 7 pm on Thursday and Friday and 1 to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets: (858) 550-1010 or HERE.

To read more reviews by SDGLN Theater Critic Jean Lowerison, click HERE.