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Theater Review: Mindplay


What’s on your mind? A problem you’re trying to solve? A memory you can’t shake? Wait, it’s getting clearer. Concentrate a little harder. Yes, there it is. You’re thinking about…going to the theater! You’re wondering if you should see Mindplay, a world premiere created, co-written and performed by Vinny DePonto, at the Geffen Theatre.

Vinny DePonto reads minds in Mindplay. Photo by Jeff Lorch.

That’s right: you picked up that Josh Koenigsberg co-wrote the show and Andrew Neisler directs. You’re getting good at opening your mind to new experiences and information.

So, should you see Mindplay? To answer your question, we’ll have to get a sense of the kind of theater experience you enjoy. Are you a fan of magic? The unexpected? Solo shows? Audience participation? Are you fascinated by memory, and how it can console, inform and trick? Do you enjoy TED Talks that offer a personal story with a dollop of science, some intellectual references and impressive twists?

Yes? Good to know you enjoy all of these, because they combine to make up this show. Now it’s coming in clearly. With a mind like yours, you should see Mindplay. Among other details, you’ll learn about a mnemonist named Solomon Shereshevsky, and see a modern-day version in DePonto. You’ll learn how it’s possible to store memories in a way that allows for better retrieval in the future. You might even catch a balloon.

You obviously can suspend disbelief, an important part of a successful Mindplay experience. Because some of what DePonto does will play with your mind. Some of what happens seems over the top, maybe even trying too hard, but you’ll probably still like it because it has a really happy ending.

You’ll also like the process of trying to figure out the secrets behind the mindreading and memory tricks. That’s part of what drives you as an audience member. Yes, it’s coming in clearly now: you should go to Mindplay.


Mindplay runs through Dec. 18 Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 and 7:00pm. Tickets are $39-129 and can be purchased here. The show is 80 minutes, without an intermission. The Geffen Playhouse is at 10886 Le Conte Ave. in Westwood. $5 parking is available in the lot just to the west of the theater.


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Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen has lived in the Brookside neighborhood since 1993. She works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant. She's also a playwright affiliated with Theatre West.

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