Play DC: The Elephant Room @ Arena Stage
cale | Jan 30, 2012 | 10:00AM |

Short Review

This show is amazing and hilarious, it’s best to just trust me and blindly dive into it. Here are the croosh deets:

Elephant Room
by Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle / directed by Paul Lazar
JAN 20 – FEB 26, 2012
in the Kogod Cradle @ Arena Stage
1101 Sixth Street, SW
Buy Tickets

Slightly Longer Review

>>>>>>>>>>>> Here is a Featured Event >>>>>>>>>>>>
Thursday 10/27
The Bentzen Ball Presents: Jon Dore @ Drafthouse Comedy
$25.00 / $25.00
The BYT Bentzen Ball Presents: Jon Dore! at Drafthouse Comedy ~~MULTIPLE SHOWS~~ Thursday, Oct 27th, 2016 6:15pm doors / 7:00pm Show Friday, Oct 28th, 2016 7:15pm doors / 8:00pm Show Friday, Oct 28th, 2016 9:40pm doors / 10:00pm Show Saturday, Oct 29th, 2016 6:15pm doors / 7:00pm Show Saturday, Oct 29th, 2016 8:15pm doors / 9:00pm Show @ Drafthouse Comedy 1100 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 $25.00 tickets on sale now! This is an 18+ event. ~~~~ About Jon Dore: Named one of “10 comics to watch” by Variety, Ottawa-born comedian, host and actor Jon Dore is renowned for his offbeat humour and unique bait-and-switch style. Dore is a favourite on the comedy club and festival circuit in Canada and the United States. He has hosted the Just for Laughs Festival Homegrown Comedy Competition on a number of occasions and has enjoyed sold-out runs at the Festival’s Montreal and Toronto locations, at comedy festivals in Halifax, Vancouver, Portland and Washington, DC, and at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. From his humble beginnings as the co-host of the cable talk show Daytime Ottawa (Rogers Television) and the irreverent roving reporter on Canadian Idol (CTV), Dore recently starred in the critically acclaimed ABC-TV series How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) opposite Sarah Chalke, Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett. Dore is the host of HBO Canada’s Funny as Hell, a series showcasing bold and uncensored comedy from the fastest rising comedians at the Just For Laughs Festival, currently shooting its fourth season. He is the star of his own award-winning ‘mockumentary’ series, The Jon Dore Television Show, documenting his hilarious and outrageous debates on life’s challenges and changes, from weight loss to gender. He also served as co-creator, co-producer and writer on the series, proving he is just as comfortable behind the camera. The series ran for a successful two seasons on IFC and The Comedy Network. Dore starred in the stand-up specials Comedy Central Presents...Jon Dore and Comedy Now! (CTV/The Comedy Network); appeared on a number Comedy Central’s specials including Live At Gotham, CC: Stand-Up: The Bonnaroo Experience and Mash Up; made guest-starring turns on How I Met Your Mother (CBS) and Scare Tactics (Syfy); and was the lead in the CBS pilot My Life As An Experiment. A regular on late night talk shows, Dore has the honor of being the first stand-up to appear on Conan (TBS). Dore's feature film credits include the indie drama Gus opposite Michelle Monaghan (Mission: Impossible III) and the comedy Stag, with Donald Faison (Scrubs) and Eva Amurri (Californication), which picked up two awards - Best Ensemble and Excellence in Filmmaking - at the LA Comedy Film Festival. TV Guide Canada called Dore one of the “rising stars of the future” and Toronto weekly NOW Magazine named him Best Male Stand-up. He is the recipient of four Canadian Comedy Awards including: Best Taped Live Performance (2010) for Just for Laughs; Best Performance by a Male in a Television Show (2009) for The Jon Dore Television Show; Best Writing on a Series (2008) for The Jon Dore Television Show; and Best Stand-up Newcomer (2006). He is also a two-time Gemini nominee (2008 & 2009) for Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Program or Series for The Jon Dore Television Show. ~~~ Thanks to our sponsor: More Bentzen Ball shows available at: Stay informed:
>>>>>>>>>>>> Ok, back to the article! >>>>>>>>>>>>

Going into the Elephant Room at Arena Stage for their final dress rehearsal the other night, I was expecting something “weird” but not really weird.  Something along the lines of a musical about Brooklyn hipsters, or a troupe that performs 30 mini plays in 60 minutes.  Advertised as some sort of magical comedy theater hybrid with a goofy looking trio mugging for the camera it had high potential to be something I could pretentiously dismiss, while still being happy the art appreciation zeitgeist had improved for the better overall in the internet leveled playing field of taste we live in.  This would be no Reggie Watts, but simply mildly amusing.  And then I was presented with one of the greatest chunks of live entertainment I’ve ever seen.

You get to spend an hour and change on a figuratively and literally magical psychedelic journey through the psyches of the three characters. It’s a stream of consciousness one act with Axel F dance numbers, a little Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mr. Show, a lot of Tim & Eric, actual honest to god impressive illusions, not so impressive ones, an expertly placed Ray Lynch track, a phone call from the Dali Lama, non-awkward audience participation, craptastic special effects, and non stop manic retarded hilarity.

There is no plot, it’s just this giant meta explosion of strangeness. I overheard someone say “I think I got high just watching that” as they left the theater. But it’s never odd just to be odd, everything has weight to it. There is a strange undercurrent of sadness and despair that runs throughout as well. It sort feels like a Christopher Guest project. You start to feel that the three characters have complex backgrounds only hinted at here; Dennis Diamond, a slick Vegas conjurer with a healthy serving of zen, Daryl Hannah, the recovering alcoholic trailer trash wizard, and Louie Magic, the kids birthday party magician / hair metal fan. It’s as if you’re just catching the middle hour of a 12 part BBC mini series when they still had that off-putting soft focus. Or at least think you are whilst in mid-trip when you’re really just looking at the couch.

I want to give as little away as possible, and I’ve already said too much, but there is a bit where all three magicians are performing their own magic trick at the same time, it’s like the ultimate misdirect, yet none are vying for your attention. They’re just casually making balloons animals or sawing a woman in half while addressing the audience as if nothing else if going on around them. It’s so diametrically opposed to what you’re used to that your brain starts to short circuit, the effect is both brilliant and ridiculously funny.

Yet the surprising thing is how accessible the performance is. If I took my mom to it, it probably wouldn’t be her favorite thing ever, but she’d still really like it. It’s a dream come true for annoying hipster snobs like myself, but The Elephant Room has universal appeal to anyone even remotely entertained by this sort of thing. The price is a bit steep, but it’s worth every penny and then some, so don’t sleep on it.
Buy Tickets