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Paulanne Simmons

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

An Accomplice

"Accomplice: New York"
Created by Tom Salamon and Betsy Suffott
Opened April 1, 2006
Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 31, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., groups of
up to eight every half hour.
$45 (212) 209-3370 or visit www.Accomplicenewyork.com
Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons April 2, 2006

Whether you're a lifelong New Yorker, a temporary resident or a tourist on a short visit, "Accomplice: New York" is a Big Apple experience you'll want to savor. This original piece of entertainment created by the brother and sister team Tom Salamon and Betsy Suffott is part interactive theater, part site-specific performance art and part walking tour of lower Manhattan. It is the most thoroughly entertaining ways to spend an afternoon in New York City one can imagine.

The theory behind "Accomplice: New York" is that given a little help and encouragement, the average person will become an eager participant in a fantasy that involves defying the law, aiding criminals and facing danger. Why not?

The adventure begins when a young man dressed in black and named Louie (ably played by James Feuer) approaches the future Accomplices, who are gathered at the designated spot, awaiting their instructions. While constantly on the move to avoid suspicion, he tells the group that he has recently left an upstate federal "college" and is trying to help some of the friends he made there. More specifically, he is trying to assist the "boss," who has acquired an island, where he plans on retiring with those friends and associates, whom he has very kindly helped to get out of the college.

The task he entrusts to the Accomplice is to find all of these people, give them their plane ticket and instruct them on how to follow the boss's plan. At some point during their exploit the Accomplices take on the additional responsibility of finding a pair of diamond earrings and getting them to the boss's girlfriend, Bunny (Lauren Potter), a young lady they are warned not to tangle with.

The mission the Accomplices undertake takes them to some of the best known Manhattan landmarks and neighborhoods, the Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall, Little Italy, Chinatown.

They meet a blind man (Joe Tomasini), a construction worker (Joe Luongo) and a bookish nerd obsessed with elves and magic (Brendan Irving), among others. They carry messages, decipher codes and pick up clues. They stop in a neighborhood bar for a beer and a downtown restaurant for snacks. By the time their mission has been accomplished the little band of fearless adventurers bonds in a way that's only possible for people who share a common goal.

"Accomplice: New York" is performed by a group of actors who are delightfully adept at following a scrip or improvising. They seem to be ready for anything, as indeed they have to be in an theatrical experience they are to a great extent creating as they go along. The actors are assisted by local bartenders, merchants and restaurateurs who have agreed to join in the quest.

If you've ever dreamt of becoming part of a criminal plan, living on the edge of society and taking risks, this is your chance to live that dream, and be assured that when the adventure is over you'll come out in one piece.

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