Outside the March presents a site-specific creation by Vanessa Smythe, Mitchell Cushman and Nick Bottomley. This theatrical take on the Escape Room format offers a series of story-based, puzzle-infused mysteries staged inside of a brick-and-mortar VHS rental store. July 4 to Aug 25 (extended from Aug 4), see website for more details and to reserve. $31.95.
This entertaining series of three escape room experiences is set in the early 90s and performed, appropriately enough, in the former Queen Video on Bloor West, hundreds of VHS tapes lining its shelves. I had great fun with A Grown-Up’s Guide To Flying, which deals with the surprise birthday of Gene, a girl with a degenerative eye illness. The clues are inventive and the finale enchanting. The second section, Love Without Late Fees, has a fascinating premise but less intriguing clues. It’s about a couple (Vanessa Smythe and Sebastien Heins) who meet through a dating service, and their fates are determined by how you solve the puzzle. (There are 32 different outcomes). The show’s design team deserves special mention, and the interstitial vignettes connecting the shows are amusing.
NNNN (Glenn Sumi)
Location - Queen Video