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In recognition of our volunteer work for the Neo-Futurists, last night we got to see their latest prime-time extravaganza Game Place Show for free. It's an odd and affectionate piece about game shows and memory, or something, involving a lot of bustling about through various rooms of the theater, playing various games led by various hosts named Chuck. Audience participation is pretty much mandatory, but do not fear -- for every awkward response and humiliation, there are moments of fabulous-prize-awarding. (Example: In a game called What Would Jesus Do?, the Son of God gave me ice cream.)

The play has itself was a bit disjointed, and it ended rather abruptly. But the actors hold the entire, sprawling wad together with lightning-quick reactions -- there's no way they can predict the course of a show so reliant on its audience's responses and on plain old chance. They have to think on their feet, just like that nimble-brained everyman, Wink Martindale. Go for the acting, stay for the beef jerky.

Last night's discovery: The back room of the Hopleaf is smoke-free. Hooray!

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