Elephant Room


REVIEW by Willard Manus

The Three Stooges meets Magic Castle.

That's a quick way to describe ELEPHANT ROOM, the madcap show featuring Daryl Hannah, Dennis Diamond and Louie Magic, three magicians who are as good at physical comedy as they are at feats of prestidigitation.

ELEPHANT ROOM has been seven years in the making. Thanks to a commission from Center Theatre Group--and help from workshop performances in New York, Washington, DC and Philadelphia--the show's creators (only their stage names are listed above) have been able to develop the show over time, testing and refining it along the way. The finished product is now running at CTG's Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City through Sept. 16 (with a national tour to follow).

ELEPHANT ROOM's setting is a seedy, kitsch-filled basement room where the three goofy-looking, wisecracking magicians are practicing their routines with an eye toward setting the world of magic on fire. Only problem is, they are slaphappy bumblers who are a danger to each other. Things crash and crumble all around them, but in the midst of all that chaos they still manage to pull off one magical trick after another, dazzling feats of illusion that elicit gasps of disbelief and admiration. Then they pick out two members of the audience to take part in their most outrageous and mind-blowing stunts, one of which involves a disappearing body.

It's all splendid fun from beginning to end, ninety non-stop, laugh-filled minutes that will delight both young and old audiences alike.

(Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washingtongton Blvd., Culver City. 213-628-2772 or centertheatregroup.org)