First came the threatening voice mail: “Susan, sweethawt, you and that kid a’ yours and your ol’ man better meet wit me tomorrow to do that t’ing you promised.” The big lug informed me of the secret location, then strongly advised I delete the message immediately—or else. Thus began Accomplice: New York, a show where the audience travels around town on a cleverly designed search for bad guys. Although billed as Off–Off Broadway, this is more of a mafioso scavenger hunt, with a heavy layering of Noo Yawk talk. Definitely roll-your-eyes kitschy, mighty schleppy (good walking shoes are a must), and a heck of a lot of fun. We met the mystery phone voice, which turns out to belong to a guy named Louie, and the other accomplices—ticket holders like us, all strangers to one another—and for the next three hours, we worked as a team to accomplish a bunch of tasks, some physical, some complicated, and one a little gross. After a finale that took all of us by surprise, playwright Tom Salamon, who surreptitiously hovers at the final meeting locale during every performance, was quick to remind me that although this is not necessarily a children’s show, the mouthy characters (one of whom pipes up about his successful career brokering mail-order brides) are hardly offensive, and certainly no worse than the vengeful beings that sixth-graders read about in Greek mythology. Grown-up theater snobs would be remiss to categorize the show as a tourist attraction. In the end, we native Manhattanites discovered places in the city we’d never noticed—a very cool mural at the former Fulton Fish Market, for example. And despite the threats from the Cosa Nostra cast, nobody got hurt.
This Thing of Ours
A participatory show you can’t refuse.
Saturdays and Sundays, eight shows between 1 and 5 p.m. (accomplicenewyork.com or 212-209-3370); $50.