Editors' pick

Match Game DC

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Match Game DC photo
Courtesy Capital Fringe Festival
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Editorial Review

Fringe Festival: 'Match Game DC'

By Stephanie Merry
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cue the universal noise of game-show misfortune, which sounds something like a team of geese squawking descending minor chords. The contestants during the Capital Fringe Festival's "Match Game DC" couldn't seem to get any correct answers, but that didn't make the evening any less entertaining.

The production resurrects a television show from the 1970s and '80s in which two contestants compete by choosing words or phrases that fill in the blank for a sentence that begs for double-entendre. Six celebrities also choose a word, and the more responses that match between contestant and celebrity, the more points the player receives. Of course, when the celebrities are going with responses that are both absurd and unprintable, it's easy to see why the game can be difficult.

Challenging though it may have been for the contestants, the game proved fun for spectators, who delighted in heckling both contestants and celebrities. When players chose innocuous responses, the audience booed. In fact, as the responses became increasingly off-color, the crowd became more enthusiastic.

Proceeds from the evening benefit the DC Film Alliance, Food & Friends and the Washington Literacy Council, so clever "commercial breaks" consist of auctions for an array of prizes.

The celebrities change each evening (including, full disclosure, a couple Washington Post reporters), and the night with Arch Campbell and Tim Tate, co-founder of the Washington Glass School, was a winner. As anyone who has seen the Arch Campbell Show knows, the entertainment reporter has a colorful personality and, on this evening, made some vibrant sartorial choices to match. Tate, meanwhile, should be a go-to choice for anyone in the mood for a round of debauched Mad Libs.