Fans of Los Angeles interactive theater experience Delusion who weren’t able to score a ticket during the show’s latest, instantly sold-out fall run, rejoice! Creator Jon Braver and the Delusion team are venturing into uncharted territory and extending the run of “The Blue Blade” through June 30. Tickets are on sale now. And that’s just the beginning.
“We’re totally rolling the dice,” says Braver of the spring expansion. “We’ve never gone to the spring before. Some people are fighting it, saying that these things should exist for Halloween and the whole fall atmosphere, but plenty of other people are like, ‘God, this show can exist in any time,’ especially this show.”
One thing the uninitiated should know: Delusion is not a haunted house or an escape room. It is play in which the audience takes a role, interacting with a troupe of actors and stuntpeople. In the current show, “The Blue Blade,” the eight-person audience plays a team of initiates in the Safeguard Society, a group of historians, tracking down a renegade member who has stolen the blade, which has the power to tear through time and space.
There are multiple shows a night with staggered start times.
“To those who have never seen our show, we always tell them, ‘This is a play. At it’s heart, it’s a play, a moving play. Some people have trouble with that,” notes Braver.
Braver’s immersive Delusion plays have been beguiling audiences with a desire to become a part of the story since 2011, when he and his crew mounted the first production, “Delusion,” in a rundown, 107-year-old mansion. The stories are all loosely linked and have grown increasingly interactive with each production. Each year the show has grown in popularity, thanks to the high level of acting and impressive stunts.
Now, Braver, who has worked in the stunt business on such high profile projects as “Iron Man,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” and immersive entertainment firm The Great Company’s Carl Choi are expanding the Delusion universe beyond just a longer season.
For this show, specifically, they’ve lowered the audience age limit to 13, created a VIP package that includes a behind-the-scenes tour, and established a Wait List, for those not lucky enough to score a ticket. And as a perk of their relationship with their current venue, Cafe Club Fais Do Do, food and drink are available for an additional charge. And they are also offering corporate deals.
“The best kept secret for the season that has really benefited those who’ve taken advantage of it is the wait list,” explains Choi. “If you sign up for the wait list, you actually could come to the space and just hang out and have food and beverages. Then, we’ll call you when people don’t show up for their tickets.”
Also, Braver is continuing to tinker with the “Blue Blade” ending, so someone who saw the show early in its fall run may see something a little different if they come back in spring.
But Delusion is expanding its offerings beyond just this year’s show. Braver and Choi see the franchise moving into VR, podcasts, television series and films.
A VR series will become available in China soon via a distribution deal with Digital Domain. The VR series is based on the 2014 Delusion play, “Lies Within,” about fans of a reclusive novelist who travel to her remote home to solve the mystery of her disappearance. Portions of the VR series may soon be available at the theater experience for audience members to sample while waiting for their showtime.
“Right now, I’m working on revisiting the 2016 show [‘His Crimson Queen’], which is a vampire tale, turning it into a podcast and imagining how a television series would work out, so this is all like early stages of development and figuring how all of it fits together,” says Braver. “It’s all loosely connected or sometimes directly connected, so this is a grand strategy that’s going to last for years: How we’re going to tell these stories in the most cohesive way. That’s kind of the overall plan. That’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of my days.”
There’s a plan in place as the Delusion team works on securing a permanent venue, of revisiting all of Delusion’s past plays while branching out with the franchise.
“The idea in a perfect world would be to have a live show going when there’s a TV series at the same time going so you can actually see the live version and then watch the TV version or listen to podcast,” explains Choi. “It’s a cross-platform kind of thing.”
Tickets for Delusion’s live, interactive performance of “The Blue Blade” start at $95, going up to $115 during the peak hours of 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., depending on the day of the week. VIP packages, which cost $185 each, are available to up to four ticket holders at the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. showtimes each day and include the show, a behind-the-scenes tour, two drinks, a signed poster, a discount code for Delusion merchandise and souvenir ticket.
For more tickets and more information, visit the Delusion website.