Saturday, February 2, 2013

All in the Timing *****

It was with some apprehension that I attended a preview of Primary Stages' 20th anniversary revival of David Ives's early hit. I remembered these zany sketches so fondly that I feared I could not possibly enjoy them as much a second time. I need not have worried. Under John Rando's flawless direction, Ives's six playlets are fresh as ever. The excellent cast (Eric Clem, Carson Elrod, Jenn Harris, Liv Rooth and Matthew Saldivar) are up to the high standards set by the original actors. Beowulf Boritt's set and Anita Yavich's costumes add greatly to the fun. Ives' delightful wordplay and comic social observations stand the test of time. "Sure Thing" and "The Universal Language" remain my personal favorites, although "Words, Words, Words" and "Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread" are not far behind. "The Philadelphia" is amusing, but runs on a bit too long. Only "Variations of the Death of Trotsky" disappointed, lacking the inventiveness of the other plays; unfortunately, it concludes the evening. Even the scene changes are amusing. If your funny bone needs a tickle, hurry to 59E59. You won't regret it. Running time: one hour, 45 minutes including intermission.

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