Geffen Playhouse Presents INSIDE THE BOX Review — Puzzle Time

Amidst the scramble of virtual performance events that intrigue, sustain and compete for your attention, Inside the Box emerges as a hybrid of theatre, gaming, entertainment, trivia, and puzzle-solving.

The experience begins when the host Emir (also serving as the house manager) begins to check participants in, assuring technical capabilities and pre-show preparation packets have been printed and completed. He sets the tone: cheerful, engaging, sprinkled with lighthearted humor. This welcome achieves not only the logistical optimization of the experience about to transpire but also the unassuming disarmament of the audience. After breaking the ice in this way, the show moves on to the main course— the magician and crossword constructor, David Kwong.

Geffen Playhouse shortens geographical issues

Once David Kwong enters the screen, he further eases us.  He seems to make sure to connect with every household in his audience at least once. He asks us where folks are beaming in from.  We get a glimpose of each other’s faces.  It feels intimate—despite our distances we are all connected.

Connectivity is the overarching theme for Geffen Playhouse and David Kwong

Be prepared to learn about a few giants in the world of puzzles. David Kwong speaks of them with great admiration and pays homage by presenting his audience with challenges formulated by his role models: from spoonerisms to anagrams, some inspired by crosswords, others by the Rubik’s cube, and most impressively, in this reviewer’s opinion, some puzzles overlapping and building on each other. He reels us in and reminds that even during this pandemic (and as Kwong points out, calling it a global pandemic is merely redundant as pandemic implies its worldly quality) there is fun, laughter and joy to be shared.

Families can share in the fun

This production blurs the lines between performance and interactive gaming. Folks who enjoy trivia and puzzles but are missing out on their favorite bar or local game hangs can experience the excitement of being in a crowd intellectual scratching together. And with ticket prices covering the entire household, families can share in an activity without breaking the bank. Under the bleak panorama of COVID-19, Geffen Playhouse brings an opportunity for some shared joy, and being Inside the Box, in your own nook of the world, can make the vastness feel nominal.




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Creative Team:

Creative Director Brett J. Banakis
Puzzle Consultant Dave Shukan
Video Designer Josh Higgason
Dramaturg Amy Levinson



Thru January 3, 2021

Monday No performance
Tuesday 6:00 p.m. PT
Wednesday 8:00 p.m. PT
Thursday 6:00 p.m. PT
Friday 8:00 p.m. PT
Saturday 3:00 and 8:00 p.m. PT
Sunday 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. PT





Online via link


For more information and tickets call 310.208.2028 or visit the Geffen Playhouse website for tickets and information.

Images courtesy of Geffen Playhouse 


Tonika Todorova

About the Author: Tonika Todorova

Tonika Todorova dabbles in writing, producing, directing, acting, singing, curating, parenting, meditating, experimenting, gardening, traveling, filming, people connecting and life navigating.

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