Go Figure “Inside the Box” @ the Geffen

While we have mostly been sheltering in place, trying to solve the mysteries of life amidst a pandemic, puzzler extraordinaire brings it close to home with his all consuming 90 minute interactive zoom show, aptly titled “Inside the Box.” This show brings sparks of clarity and creativity to those who have up til now been puzzled by the concept of ‘virtual theatre.’ Kwong describes himself as spending his whole life obsessed and consumed with an olio of puzzles, ranging from word games that boggle the mind to crosswords and jigsaws. By piecing the pieces together, we can all work as a team to face the enigma of when the “world hit pause,” just six months ago. Kwong goes on to confirm that we all are at our most creative when dealt a curveball or a different set of parameters, and rather than thinking outside the box, we can revert to inside the box, facing each of our teammates, the counterpart squares within the zoom ‘audience.’ The charismatic storyteller pulls out a range of puzzles, mazes, acrostics, and word scrambles out of a Pandora’s box, as it were. Since human nature is to make order out of chaos, the audience members eagerly act quickly to solve and figure out each challenge in what seems like split seconds. The competition is fierce yet friendly, as we remind ourselves, “we’re all in this together,” and each of us is one piece or link to connect to the whole. In one challenge, Kwong presents two visual images to create the country they spell out, such as penguin and eagle to create ‘Guinea.’ He cites the puzzle greats, such as Rubik, Margaret Farrar(crossword specialist) Lewis Carroll (known for his mastery of acrostics), Kobon Fujimara (Tokyo Puzzles); and Martin Gardner (mathemagician), with an extra special nod to crossword puzzle genius Will Shortz of the New York Times.
This show’s premise is a brilliant solution to dealing with our angst inducing conundrum of current events. Families have bonded together lately over turning to a puzzle or maze to bide time during this pandemic; teachers have even incorporated puzzles into distant learning for bonding and cooperation skills. Just as with yoga or meditation, we escape into the moment, we can’t easily think of troubles or worries when engrossed in a good puzzle. Trivial pursuits lead to the pursuit of happiness, and “Inside the Box” leads to a human hivemind, problem solving, connecting the dots, each within his/her own square box.


About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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