by Patty Nolan for The Examiner
December 6, 2014
Rating: 5 stars
Have you ever considered the “infinite monkey theorem” from the monkeys’ point of view? Or wondered what a comedy sketch might look like if the playwright applied words in the same reductive, repetitive manner with which Phillip Glassflourishes his arpeggios?
David Ives has considered these and other bizarre scenarios and assembled them into a splendid anthology of eight short plays entitled, “ All in the Timing.” First seen off-Broadway in 1993 and in a 2013 revival at New York’s Primary Stages, Ives’ absurd, fast-paced comedic plots are perfect for those struggling with attention deficit or sleep deprivation issues.
“All in the Timing” is brilliant, perplexing at times, but always hilariously entertaining. Of course, in theatre as in life, timing is everything, and in this Hilberry Theatre production, the unifying theme could be “time is of the essence.”
This production is directed by Wayne State University’s Dr. David Magidson, a Professor of Theatre who is well known for his deft directorial work with many area theaters. Under his direction, the talented Hilberry cast is amazing in what must be one of the most challenging works to perform. After all, they at times have to speak almost nonsensical lines with such tight rhythms that, as with acrobats, one small error is fatal. They have to learn a new language and speak it with such inflection that the audience understands what’s being said. And they have to physically hurl themselves into sketches that, at the ring of the bell, require them to mentally rewind and replay it in an instant.