Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Live and in color at The Elephant Room

(Please click on the photo for the full effect)

The Elephant Room currently unleashed at CTG's Kirk Douglas in Culver City may get an audience in spite of itself.  

 Kings (and Queens) of Comedy include duos and trios in the form of Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen, Martin and Lewis, The Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges, The Ritz Brothers and in modern times The Flying Karamazov Brothers.  If the guys (Lounge Lizard: Dennis Diamond, Cowboy: Daryl Hannah .. no, not THAT Daryl Hannah and Hippie Louie Magic in bad wigs and marginally executed slap dance choreography ) tearing up the Elephant Room had taken a cue from any of the above it might help.  The irony is that they have successfully taken their show on the road and in spite of the mess, bad jokes and lame tricks, the audience laughs, sometimes in concert, sometimes just shaking its collective head, realizing that they are sitting still for such shenanigans.

The shiny main curtain changes colors as the audience crams itself into airline seating.  Why, at rise, the three guys are sitting on a fold out sofa that is spewing smoke is a mystery. They recite the opening stage directions milking moderate applause from the audience.  We’ve been warned that these guys are on the prowl.  Leering stares from the trio are supposed to let us know that they mean business, ladies.  It’s a mishmash of silly dancing and an introduction to the turquoise Elephant Room  which is literally sitting on cinder blocks (to show there are no trap doors, I guessed) where the ‘magic’ will astound and entertain.

The magic is marginal, using mostly store bought magic tricks, performed in concert from time to time, each member of the cast contributing his particular brand (Lounge Lizard, Cowpoke, Hippie) of magical comedy.  Though never mind bending, the best trick, perhaps, is the trio working together with materializing and disappearing eggs.  One egg apparently shifts from one guy to the next in a clipped rhythm that is pretty impressive.  More impressive is the manifestation of a crystal wine glass and the guys breaking their now three manifested eggs into it one at a time.  Meanwhile, Daryl returns to the stage with a frying pan, Diamond produces a block of cheese, Louie produces a fork and an omelet is created with magic “fire” from Diamond’s finger tips.  Before our very eyes the seemingly normal fry pan cooks the eggs to a perfect turn. 

The old call-a–volunteer-from-the-audience-routine produces an attractive young woman who screams and hollers as an electric sabre saw we’ve just witnessed shredding a head of romaine is passed through a special device over her body and saws something else on the other side.  It’s cheesy old stuff.  The script is minimal and the dumber and dumberer patter is completely in sync with the purpose of the whole silly production: simply to have some fun.  Serpentine streamers, a ton of confetti, a disappearing guy from the audience named Kyle and an embarrassed blonde named Paige, are all part of ninety minutes of only slightly organized mayhem instigated by director Paul Lazar. Created by three "magicians," Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle and Steve Cuiffo, it could use some tightening, but for a good time call... 

P.S. Loxodontics by Eric Wright and the Puppet Kitchen are the frosting on the big cheesecake.

Created by Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle and Steve Cuiffo
CTG presents at The Kirk Douglas Theatre
9820 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
Tuesday through Friday 8PM
Saturday at 2 and 8 PM
Sunday at 1 and 6:30 PM
Through September 16, 2012 
Tickets $20 to $50.00 (subject to change)
213 628 4017

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