Master Puzzle Wizard David Kwong entertains at-home audience ‘Inside the Box’


With his expertise in enigmas and illusions, David Kwong delights and challenges audiences around the world with his intellectual brand of magic. A veteran “cruciverbalist” (crossword puzzle constructor), Kwong routinely creates puzzles for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal, and has been the puzzle and secret code consultant for hit television shows and award-winning feature films.

When the West Coast Premiere of Kwong’s show ENIGMATIST had to be postponed from the Geffen Playhouse just before it was scheduled to open in March 2020, the puzzle master and magician wrote and now performs the World Premiere of his virtual show, INSIDE THE BOX, which marks the second full-length production from Geffen Stayhouse, offered via Zoom to audiences in their homes around the world. And the entertaining production seems to be a perfect fit for a Zoom audience, with each person caught inside the always-seen boxes on the screen. In fact, just wait until you see how the seemingly random placement of each person in a box winds up being a major part in one of the evening’s puzzle solution!

“David Kwong’s brand-new show takes us on a puzzle-solving, code-breaking wild ride through the history of puzzle-making,” said Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Matt Shakman. “Part game night, part mystery, and 100% exciting interactive theatre, ‘Inside the Box’ is a virtual gift from one of our great puzzle masters.” And I guarantee Kwong will regale you with stories of the world’s most extraordinary puzzle-makers through history, then demonstrate their type of creation skills during this entirely interactive celebration of puzzle-solving, wordplay, multi-layered games, and surprises

After being part of the 24-person virtual audience during ‘Inside the Box’, I can honestly say I discovered I am not a nerdy “puzzle person” in that trying to figure out the solutions to each one left me faced with many conundrums, including why doesn’t my brain work like all these other people who seem to be able to figure everything out? But perhaps that is part of the fun of the game, in that once you do figure it out, a real sense of accomplishment is achieved, knowing you feel smarter than those of us left behind in the dust.

“When you sit down to solve a crossword puzzle, you’re engaging in an invisible connection with the puzzle-maker, whose goal is to challenge your brain, throw in some amusing twists and turns, and maybe even a little misdirection (after all, I am a magician),” said Kwong.

To fully participate, each participant (per location) receives an advance email with a link to download and print a packet of puzzles to be used to participate and interact with Kwong during the live performance. 

‘Inside the Box’ written and performed by David Kwong, continues through January 3, 2021, with performances Tuesday through Sunday evenings Tickets are $55-$65 per household, and are available by phone online at