For those that have been lucky enough to attend Creep LA, you will know that Justin Fix and the creative team behind it are making a very strong mark on the immersive theatre scene in LA.
Within a fleeting two years, the experience has not only created a buzz as one of the top new haunts, but has also attracted the likes of some A-list celebrities along the way. It was only natural that when Blumhouse heard that the CreepLA team had come up with a new year-round experience we were eager to try it.
THE WILLOWS takes the tired ‘dinner theatre’ concept and gives it a thorough shake up. Everything about THE WILLOWS is unusual and resonates with an old school charm. It is ultimately like the kind of dinner party that one can only hope to attend so they can have a great story for a future dinner party that will never live up to this one.
The group is small and guests are integrated with the Willows family around a large table for dinner conversation. The drinks flow, the food arrives, and the eccentric banter begins, oh, and did I mention there is dancing? Yes, there is dancing.
Fix has done a tremendous job in creating a lavish ambiance with a tinge of intrigue and an omnipresent taste of the macabre.
The music, set-design and lighting all come together and enhance the already top-notch performances by the actors. The matriarch, the dim-witted brother, the insane sister make up some of the Willows family, and every cast member played them to a tee. I cannot praise the layers and attention to detail that these actors have put into their characters enough.
The house itself also plays an important role, and I am sure I recognized it from various films and television, one springing to mind, the first season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY, but I could be wrong…
This is not an experience that makes you feel like you are being rushed through to make way for the next group. The evening goes for a full two hours, and at not one point did I feel disengaged. It has been masterfully crafted so that each participant gets their own unique experience, which is an incredible feat in itself.
What’s so great about THE WILLOWS is that the 18 person group is split up at various times during the evening, making for multiple return visits to all be different than the last. The story-line is layered, and I will definitely be making a reappearance to see if I can figure out more about the fascinating Willows family.
According to Fix, the unusual and beguiling results of this layered experience, resulted from a relatively simple mission statement;
“We have been fortunate to have an outpouring of support since we started two years ago,” said Creator Justin Fix. “Our goal has been a simple one, to bring a uniquely interactive theatrical experience to Los Angeles that isn’t based on smoke and mirrors or cheap screams, but experiences based on well scripted, well-acted and well-designed immersive theater. Guests that attend our shows become characters in the scenes where not even I know how it will turn out sometimes. In my opinion, it’s the best type of theatre, the unpredictable type.”
Tickets for the Willows can be purchased right here!
*All Photos: Hatbox Photography