Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

All in the Timing 

These promising shorts show glimpses of what the Actors Ensemble can do

Wednesday, Aug 1 2007
Comments
Playwright David Ives' much-celebrated and often-performed collection of quirky, comedic short plays gets a mixed production at Actors Ensemble of Berkeley. When it's firing on all cylinders, this show is a delight to behold. In "The Universal Language," Lia Fischer and Stanley Spenger are especially touching as a teacher and a student trying to connect through words all their own. Yet most of the six shorts lack the timing that is needed to keep Ives' wit bouncing along. "Speed-the-Play," four rapid-fire parodies of David Mamet plays, suffers both from a slack execution and from mistakenly assuming that the audience would be such Mamet fans as to get all the jokes. The Actors Ensemble's gamble to focus on Ives' more ambitious short plays rather than the crowd-pleasers doesn't pay off. This is a shame because the overall choice of play seems a perfect fit for the 50-year-old community theater, which prides itself on bringing solid entertainment to the people of the East Bay. But the moments when the play is working show glimpses of what a boon for their community this company could be.

About The Author

Molly Rhodes

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"