In life, one rarely gets do-overs.
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Perhaps that’s the charm of “Sure Thing,” one of six short comedies in David Ives’ clever collection “All in the Timing,” presented this week by Scarsdale’s Greenville Community Theater at Edgemont High School.
Betty sits at a cafe table.
Bill: “Excuse me, is this chair taken?”
Betty: “Excuse me?”
Bill: “Is this taken?”
Betty: “Yes it is.”
Bill: “Oh, sorry.”
Betty: “Sure thing.”
(A bell rings: Ding.)
For the next seven minutes or so, Bill tries to strike up a conversation. When Betty puts up a roadblock, a bell rings and he starts again. This conversation progresses by fits and starts into a treatise on Faulkner, Woody Allen and Entenmann’s crumb cake.
Director Janice Hanges says “All in the Timing” requires little in the way of sets and a few props.
“It’s all about what the fabulous actors do,” she says.
With Ives’ clever wordplay, it really is all in the timing, says D. Scott Faubel, appearing in his fourth production of the play. He portrays Bill in “Sure Thing.”
(In the interest of full disclosure, Faubel is also an editor at The Journal News.)
Faubel says directors have different takes on each of the plays, adding with a smile, “but the bell’s gotta ring when the bell’s gotta ring.”
He’s a fan of Ives, having seen the off-Broadway production of “All in the Timing.” He also met the playwright at a book signing.
His appeal, he says, is “the cleverness of his writing, his wit, his musicality and his wordplay.”
Kelly Kirby plays Betty, appearing in her first Ives play.
“It’s difficult because you’re having to repeat the scene over and over until you get it right,” says the Mount Vernon resident. “It’s not like most pieces, with a beginning, middle and end. It’s been a lot of memorizing what comes next.”
Kirby also appears in “Words, Words, Words,” in which three chimps are put in a room with typewriters and are expected to write “Hamlet.”
“Trying to be a monkey has proven to be quite a challenge, physically and mentally,” she says with a laugh.
GCT will present six of the 14 possible plays that Ives includes in “All in the Timing.”
In addition to “Sure Thing” and “Words, Words, Words,” they are:
• “Foreplay, or The Art of the Fugue,” about three games of miniature golf, played simultaneously by three different couples with remarkable similarities.
• “The Philadelphia,” about asking for one thing and getting something else.
• “The Universal Language,” about making connections with words of your choosing.
Then there’s “Variations on the Death of Trotsky,” about the Russian political figure’s demise, via a mountain climber’s pick ax smashed into his skull. It is by turns madcap and thoughtful.
Not only does Ives give some of his characters do-overs in life, he gives Trotsky a do-over in death.
What: David Ives’ “All in the Timing,” directed by Janice Hanges
When: 8 p.m., June 16, 17, 18; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. June 19.
Where: Edgemont High School Theater, White Oak Lane, Scarsdale
Tickets: $15; $13 students and seniors. General admission. On June 16, all seats $10.
With: Miguel A. Acevedo, Rosie Cosch, Kathy Files DiBiasi, D. Scott Faubel, Peter Gehn, Stewart Hanges, Kelly Kirby, Stephanie Suozzo.