All in the Timing
By David Ives
Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780679759287, 313pp.
Publication Date: November 8, 1994
List Price: $16.95*
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The world according to David Ives is a very add place, and his plays constitute a virtual stress test of the English language -- and of the audience's capacity for disorientation and delight. Ives's characters plunge into black holes called "Philadelphias," where the simplest desires are hilariously thwarted. Chimps named Milton, Swift, and Kafka are locked in a room and made to re-create Hamlet. And a con man peddles courses in a dubious language in which "hello" translates as "velcro" and "fraud" comes out as "freud."
At once enchanting and perplexing, incisively intelligent and side-splittingly funny, this original paperback edition of Ives's plays includes "Sure Thing," "Words, Words, Words," "The Universal Language," "Variations on the Death of Trotsky," "The Philadelphia," "Long Ago and Far Away," "Foreplay, or The Art of the Fugue," "Seven Menus," "Mere Mortals," "English Made Simple," "A Singular Kinda Guy," "Speed-the-Play," "Ancient History," and "Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread."
David Ives is an Artistic Associate at Encores!, the celebrated forum for great American musicals at City Center, New York, where to date he has adapted 15 of their shows. He adapted David Copperfield's "Dreams and Nightmares" for Broadway, wrote the book for "Dance of the Vampires," the Jim Steinman Broadway musical, and is the co-bookwriter of "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," which premiered in San Francisco to huge acclaim in winter 2004. He lives in New York City with his wife Martha.
"Theater that aerobicizes the brain and tickles the heart...Ives is a mordant comic who has put the play back in playwright." -- Time