You may have heard of those experiences in Chicago where you get locked in a room with people and you have to find your way out in an hour. You may be thinking "Umm... locked in a room with people I DON'T KNOW for an hour and I can't get out? No thanks. Biyeeee!" I get it, especially if they're scary ones with zombies, or you're with someone who is just the worst. However, The House Theatre of Chicago has come up with such a cool and unique escape-type room experience that I think even the biggest doubters will have a blast.
The Last Defender is part performance, part puzzle hunt, and part live action game. It's set in 1983 and draws on the era's political and social turmoil, the golden age of arcades, and impending nuclear threats to give audiences a one-of-a-kind storytelling experience. OK those are their words, not mine, but they explain it so perfectly!
Still don't get it? Here's the dealio — After you purchase your tickets, you get a link to fill out your size for a jumpsuit. Yup! A jumpsuit. It's bright orange with tons of patches on it. I know, I know. Not the sexiest thing, but who cares? You'll all be in one, so suck it up for the fun. When you arrive to the Chopin Theatre, you'll receive a lanyard with your alias name and your team assignment. I was Cover Girl in Team Intelligence. I mean, duh... (crickets)
After mingling with strangers in the lobby, you're given a rundown of what to expect by House Theatre of Chicago staff. Honestly, even during this portion I was still a bit confused and didn't truly know what I was doing there. Am I seeing a play? Is there a stage? What is happening?! The excitement was clearly building and the pressure of solving puzzles, not my strongest suit, was taking over.
I don't want to give too much away, but once you put on that orange jumpsuit, everything changes. You instantly become your alias and accept what is happening. Everyone is on board to succeed in the mission. It's a giant room filled with 16 strangers, puzzles, tasks and more. You all have to work together to succeed. At times you can't stop laughing. Other times you're frantically trying to figure out why you can't remember simple fifth grade math. All in all, F-U-N!
My team was so close to succeeding. Maybe yours will be victorious. In fact, I hope it is. May the odds be ever in your favor, or whatever.
Check the calendar to buy tickets to The Last Defender (now extended through June 12), or call the box office 773.769.3832.
1543 W. Division Street, Chicago IL 60642
Individual tickets $40-45, group options also available
Photo credit: Johnny Knight