Terminator Too, Judgement Play

The poncho only costs $2. You should buy it. Otherwise, you risk getting doused with buckets of water, packets of fake blood, and super soakers filled with tequila. The poncho is part of the rip-roaring fun at Terminator Too: Judgment Play, an interactive theatrical experience inspired by the 1991 James Cameron film Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Think Silence! The Musical (minus the music) meets Sleep No More (without the roaming around in the dark), with free beer (with your ticket stub) and other traditionally overpriced drinks. Written, directed, and produced by Thomas Blake (of the Los Angeles hit Point Break Live!) this one is only for the diehards. And if you are, a great time is almost guaranteed.

The conceit is that the actors are remaking Terminator 2 live on stage, with a minuscule budget, compared to Cameron's $90+ million. They're missing a star, though, and the person cast as the Terminator, the crucial role essayed by the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, is plucked from the audience via on stage competition. Much of the show's success depends on this person, and I can imagine that the show could be a real slog if the winner ends up a dud. Luckily, at the performance I attended, the guy selected to play Ahnuld was more than game, delivering the lines (from cue cards presented by actress Yesenia Ayala as a Latina maid) in his best terrible Austrian dialect and not letting the costume—a leather jacket to cover his shirtless chest, a skin-tight pair of flesh-colored underwear, and crotch and assless chaps—take away from his work.

The jokes fly fast and furiously, and the ones that register in between the screaming laughs are pretty hysterical. (Some of the delivery tends to be rushed, for some reason, and a lot of the jokes that don't land are either swallowed up or drowned out.) The performers—Ayala as the maid, Christi Waldoon as Sarah Connor, Joya Mia Italiano as John Connor, George Spielvogel as Mark Zuckerberg (yes the Facebook guy), Conor Tansey as T-2000, Jeremy Bent, Stephanie Griffith, and Sam Albertsen—are all scarily committed to the work, and their dedication is part of what makes the experience so charming.

Grab a beer, put on your poncho, and get ready to laugh.