‘Sequel’ is a term that is loaded with connotations and expectations. When I heard Spy Brunch’s Safehouse ’77, one of the most entertaining, memorable, and noteworthy experiences of 2018 was having a sequel, a flood of feelings and questions came up for me. “What incredibly large shoes to fill! How are they going to deliver an experience that is as entertaining as its predecessor?” Going in with these expectations, I was pleasantly surprised that SAFEHOUSE ’82 is not only a worthy sequel but a charming experience in its own right.
First and foremost, it’s worth reiterating that SAFEHOUSE ’82 definitely feels like a sequel. There are many mentions of Safehouse ’77 throughout the experience and a cast of familiar characters. You are brought back to Sharon’s house with design and decor that reflects a blast from the past. Particularly, there is a lot of 1980s’ technology such as a photo projector, VHS tapes, old televisions, walkie-talkies, and themed music playing through retro speakers that help establish the experience in the early 80s. The actors also help ground the participants in the time period and narrative by referencing current social and political events of the time as well as your role as a returning CIA agent.
It is not necessary to have attended Safehouse ’77 to enjoy this experience. In fact, in some ways, it might be beneficial to have not gone to Safehouse ’77 and have the opportunity to experience the novelty of the theme and characters. For those returning patrons, there are a LOT of surprises in SAFEHOUSE ’82 that I am deliberately leaving out of this review. Writers Nick Rheinwald-Jones and Katelyn Schiller create an incredibly interactive and intense narrative that balances a sense of urgency and lightheartedness in a delightful way. Even though the story is set in 1982, a lot of commentary about the CIA reflects the current cultural mood of distrust and disappointment with the government.
Additionally, all the actors are all incredibly talented and easy to interact with. In particular, Katie Rediger, who plays Sharon, performs exceptionally in her role in balancing strength and fragility, often on the brink of tears, in an urgent, critical situation. Additionally, Lauren Hayes, who plays Margery, has an incredible emotional range in embodying a snide and condescending, yet oddly charming, and suspicious assistant. With multiple tracks, each patron has the opportunity for obtaining unique interactions with the characters, solving puzzles, and finding clues.
With solid writing, talented acting, a compelling storyline, a high level of interactivity, and not to mention food and drinks, SAFEHOUSE ’82 casts a wide appeal to audiences 21 and over. This 2 hour-long immersive experience will have you hunting for clues and actively working to put the pieces together. Since there is so much going on, you may not be able to find out the origin of all the discovered objects. However, all participants are able to experience the resolution of the performance in a gratifying yet bittersweet ending. For $125, you can get your ticket to SAFEHOUSE ’82 and experience this interactive spy thriller that you won’t want to miss. For more information visit https://www.safehouse82.com/.