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SWAGGER, NOT STYLE

The worldwide headquarters and hindquarters of freelance writer Chris Klimek

Wig Vs. Wig: Elephant Room and The Gaming Table, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

[caption id="attachment_8066" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Dennis Diamond, Louie Magic and Daryl Hannah (SCOTT SUCHMAN/Arena Stage)"][/caption]Personally -- and professionally, come to that -- I had more fun with the imported comic illusionism of Elephant Room at Arena ("would look far more comfortable in some ramshackle, claustrophobic space, where its raw aesthetics and ironic sensibility might not pose the glaring counterpoint that it does to refined surroundings." -- Peter Marks, The Washington Post) than at the Folger's more erudite native production of The Gaming Table ("a buoyant air and a bouquet of ripe performances" -- Marks). But I liked both shows quite a bit. As always, your mileage may vary.[caption id="attachment_8075" align="alignright" width="216" caption="Katie deBuys, Michael Milligan, Tonya Beckman Ross, and Robbie Gay (CAROL PRATT/Folger Theatre)"][/caption]

You can click the photos for my Washington City Paper reviews, or just click here and here.

FURTHER READING: My now-but-not-then colleague Bob Mondello's 2005 WCP review of Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, which I reference in my Elephant Room notice. I'd looked up that Mondello review for guidance on how to address the fact that I'd been drafted into the show, the way I remembered that Ricky had pulled Bob onstage into his show all those years ago.

Also, here's Marks's 2010 blog post about how he hates it when performers physically involve the audience.