Now a year deep into their pandemic-friendly “Geffen Stayhouse” series, the Geffen Playhouse is back with another virtual production, this time in the horror space. Written and performed by Jared Mezzocchi, the story (billed as “true” but understandably embellished) surrounds a 200-year-old New Hampshire home where his family once had a harrowing haunting experience.
A ticket to the show comes with a “haunting kit” that is sent via mail prior to the performance. Each performance is limited to 40 households. If you took part in other Geffen Stayhouse productions, such as Citizen Detective or The Present, you will find this one to be minimally interactive. While a few audience members were called upon to briefly read some information from the contents of their haunting kit, Mezzocchi is the focus here, and my household was able to stay happily muted throughout, enjoying his storytelling.
Mezzocchi’s family nightmare happened before he was born, but he pieced the story together through his family’s recollections. A recording of his mother’s voice is played a couple times throughout the story, and he often references his brother, who resisted talking about the terrifying events he experienced as a child for some time. The rest of the narrative comes from research into the house’s original occupants, dating back to the 1700s.
This production’s greatest strength is its concision. With a running time of just about an hour, the story doesn’t overstay its welcome, devoting itself to building tension. Mezzocchi is a magnetic performer—but remember to also keep your eye on the background of the room he’s broadcasting from for some fun surprises. The haunting kit left a bit to be desired, and the props definitely were not as integral to the experience as in prior Geffen Zoom productions. But the production value in Someone Else’s House still will not disappoint, and the climactic final sequence will leave you agape.
Someone Else’s House recently extended through July 3rd. The initial block of tickets is currently sold out, but tickets for the extension go on sale Wednesday, May 12th at 10am Pacific Time. Internet access with audio/video conferencing capability is required, and this production is recommended for ages 12 and up. Tickets must be purchased at least 7 days in advance to allow for the haunting kit to be shipped. The running time is 70 minutes, no intermission. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
3 thoughts on “Theater Review: Someone Else’s House, a Virtual Production from the Geffen Playhouse”
Just saw it — it was awful. The writer/speaker ruined it by constantly speaking in the present tense about past events, taking away what could have been scary effects that he wanted.
I completely disagree. It was a waste of time and money.