The Acey-Deucey Club: A Submarine-Themed Tiki Bar
Produced by Fever; Created by Cinereal
As experienced in Los Angeles ~ November 2022
The Experience & How it Works:
You arrive at the designated location, check in at the door, and are invited to board the USS Clusterwink. Once on board, you register at the front desk, place your drink order and are offered a shot on your way to the Acey-Deucey Club — an on-board entertainment venue typically reserved for those of the highest ranks of the Navy. You sit down at your assigned seat and, soon enough, the show begins.
Why it’s Interesting, IMHO:
The show promises a submarine-themed tiki bar — already intriguing! — with music and a narrative. I was curious how much, and what sort, of a narrative there might be.
Initial Impression & Critical Discussion:
Fun, if a bit unusual. The fact that the MC addresses the audience, attributing them characters — e.g., passengers on this ship — is fun, though there’s very little audience interaction. One volunteer is singled out during the show and taken to another room as part of the story.
While it’s exciting that there is a story — and acknowledged that it is well-structured — it’s a very simple one and has minimal participation by the audience, or anyone really. The MC updates us on the progression of it and, at one point, calls out another character — which leads to a vocal performance by someone we haven’t yet heard from — but the story itself feels a bit pre-determined rather than something that is playing out in our midst and affected by this group of people present in this moment.
The website advertising copy states that you can “connect with the Captain and Crew, seek out secret corridors, and locate hidden messages from former passengers.” This attendee did not find the experience particularly conducive to doing those things, despite taking an exploratory lap around the room. There were some cool decorative touches as part of the submarine theme, but the structure of the show didn’t encourage wandering around or interacting with others. It felt very much like a(n enjoyable) musical revue.
While engaging, the experience felt a bit short for a show — whether it be musical or theatrical. After the performance, guests are invited to linger outside at the patio bar. It was quite cold when we attended, so not many people were staying around; hence the suggestion of bringing your own group of friends, so you can linger, lend some energy to the place and make an evening of it.
- Tiki Your Friends. The more the mariner. (See what I did there?)
- Dress in Ship Shape. Heed the dress code recommendations and show up in your nautical or tropical best.
- Dock at Other Ports. True to its naval inspiration, this show keeps a tight schedule. To extend the fun, make a night of it (e.g., dinner before and/or another bar afterward).
Experiential Viewpoint Expression (E.V.E.):
Embodied, 1st person visual, 1st person narrative, entity, mortal
*One might question whether it’s participant effectual POV for the one volunteer, but it did not seem that they truly had any impact on the story or scene.
When the USS Clusterwink disembarks from your town’s port, you and your shipmates intend to enjoy a show in the Acey-Deucey Club, and then, the USS Clusterwink discovers that there’s a stowaway on board.
Pillars of Game:
Voluntary Participation — check!
Goal —to find the stowaway.
Rules — none other than “listen to the Captain.”
Feedback — none; there’s not actually much opportunity to be an active participant, other than the request for a single volunteer.
Conclusion: This isn’t a game. With a story and musical entertainment, that’s not surprising; not everything has to be everything.
Who Should Experience This?
Friend groups or couples looking for something a little more than a night out at a bar and a little less than a concert or theatrical performance.