MSQ Review: Elephant Room – Kirk Douglas Theatre

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Fret not, those of you already burned out by the political campaigning. Elephant Room is not the west coast edition of the Republican Convention happening this week in Tampa. As absurd as those partisan events have become, they are no match for this entirely crazy and enjoyable show.

Daryl Hannah (not the actress who played a mermaid), Dennis Diamond, and Louie Magic are three low-rent storytellers and magicians. At the less-than-auspicious Elephant Room Society Club, they invite us into their world as they perform skits and old-school magic tricks while involving the audience in a show that is best described as one giant sleight of hand.

Imagine Christopher Guest training his satirical eye on the world of magic, throw in a bit of Corky St. Clair from Waiting for Guffman and you’ll have a sense of the show. From a phone conversation with the Dalai Lama to jokes about Daryl Hannah’s daughter Montana, a massive (and funny) mid-show merchandise push and even cleverly placed spilled milk that pays off late in the show, Elephant Room is one-of-a-kind.

If you are a serious fan of magic, you won’t see any illusions you haven’t seen before. But that misses the bigger point: The whole show is an illusion.  Sometimes, as in the opening moments of the show when we are first introduced to the trio, things go on too long and don’t pay off. But when it does work, it is delightful.

I’m taking great pains not to reveal too much. Elephant Room is one of those shows where the less you know going in, the more you’ll enjoy it. And if you see it, you’ll understand why trying to put this show into words is as crazy as trying to explain U.S. politics to someone from another country.

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