Fever, a prolific producer of events throughout the nation, is at it again with another pop-up that caters to the imagination — this time with submarine-themed décor, three consecutive rum-based cocktails, and a mystery (without the murder) to help augment an overall one-of-a-kind, 90-minute foray into a bygone era.
After having recently “docked” in San Diego at the Horton Grand Hotel in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the fictional Acey-Deucey Club, inclusive of a frolicsome mess hall inside a faux submarine named the USS Clusterwink, has made its way to Los Angeles on 613 Imperial Street, where it can be enjoyed as it figuratively descends multiple times into the ocean through Sunday, December 11th.
Attendees will transport themselves to an auspicious time — the late 1940s — where, upon still riding the high of victory in the wake of World War II, officers and engineers of the Navy are taking the Clusterwink on a delightful port-to-port ride that has a layer of secrecy to it despite being laden with merrymaking libations.
Upon walking into the Acey-Deucey Club, visitors will immediately feel as though they just stepped into a portal; needless to say, lots of thought has gone into making this novel concept as believable as possible. Keen observers will note an aged punch time-clock machine and an antique box television inside a lounge where they are greeted by the vessel’s striding captain, the poised Victoria Gray.
Thereafter, the honorary mariners are led down a flight of stairs into the main hull of the submarine as they walk through the engine room where an engineer will distribute citrus-tasting, celebratory liquor to the passersby, the “Polly Wanna Shot,” which is downed from an endearing parrot-shaped porcelain glass. In the same area are the crew’s bunk beds, lockers, and the galley where more mixed drinks are being prepared as guests are directed to their assigned seats facing a stage where a sonorous three-piece ensemble, the Clusterwink Band (with keyboardist, bassist, and drummer), patiently await their singer.
As revelers nibble on plantain chips stored in white seashells on their tables, they are drawn not only to the jazz band but the splendid scenery around them. Overhead is a network of steel pipes, and around the mess deck are portholes of various sizes depicting underwater video projections by Cinereal Productions. This surreal setting sits in a haze of wonderment and multicolored mood lighting which unmistakably add a sense of conviviality to the show that is about to begin.
When Captain Gray takes the stage, she does more than just officially introduce herself and a second principal character, a loyal skipper named Finn Crawford, before announcing a toast as the evening’s second drink, the pineapple-accented “Skipper’s Sipper” (to be imbibed from an aluminum mug) is disseminated. Interestingly, the progressive captain reveals herself as the main vocalist upon confidently grabbing the vintage microphone that beckons the entertainer in her.
As the submarine descends amid a steady rumble, evincing starfish and other sea life through the portholes, Gray beautifully sings George Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm,” “Down Hearted Blues” (a blues ditty made famous by Bessie Smith), and other classics. The actress portraying Gray is unequivocally multitalented, as she seamlessly pivots between being disarming and belting out notes all the while staying connected to her audience, schmoozing during lulls. The same can be said for the actor playing Crawford, who comes across likably and surprises with a tonally rich vocal performance.
Notwithstanding the musical standards are the whispers of a scandalous mystery underpinning the festivities. Following one or two red herrings (in the form of literal false alarms), the captain and crew interrogate some of the happy-to-oblige guests, hoping to understand the urgent issue at hand. This storyline, which introduces a third principal character, culminates like a Golden Age Hollywood film as eventgoers swill their third cocktail — a choice between a coconut colada amusingly called “Sea Horsin’ Around” (in an adorable seahorse mug) and a coffee colada humorously deemed “Monkey Sea Monkey Do” (in a monkey-head mug). As the outcome of the conundrum is unfurled, patrons will find themselves hooting, hollering, and laughing along the way.
Of note is that, because the three cocktails (or four — with the VIP option, which comes with a souvenir flask) come out in quick succession during the comparatively short timeframe, it is advised that guests take an Uber or Lyft if they intend to knock back all their beverages; at the very least, a meal should be had prior to attending and absorbing the generous alcohol packed into their refreshments. That said, for those who are abstinent, non-alcoholic versions are offered as well.
Furthermore, as wonderful as the talent is from both a musical and improv-acting standpoint, it would be nicer to perhaps meet additional characters and be immersed in more plot lines. Nevertheless, the show doesn’t overstay its welcome and leaves its patrons ultimately satisfied. The intimate ambiance of the Acey-Deucey Club, heightened by tropically flavorful drinks, contributes to a unique multisensory experience that ensures a jovial voyage had by everyone.
All in all, the Acey-Deucey Club: A Submarine-Themed Tiki Bar Experience is tantamount to a pleasure cruise that will have you excitedly bellowing “Aooga!” Just remember your alibi, as Captain Gray cautions on a few occasions, if asked about the exclusive getaway.
Tickets for the Acey-Deucey Club: A Submarine-Themed Tiki Bar Experience in Los Angeles can be purchased at this link for the following days/times:
– Thursdays and Fridays: 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm
– Saturdays: 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:30 pm, and 8:30 pm
– Sundays: 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6:30 pm
Following its stay in Los Angeles, the Acey-Deucey Club is expected to appear in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Houston.