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All in the Timing

Fourteen Plays

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
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."
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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."
Product Details
Paperback (336 pages)
Published: November 8, 1994
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679759287
Other books byDavid Ives
  • Monsieur Eek

    Monsieur Eek
    The Great And Glorious Coastal city of MacOongafoondsen (population twenty-one) lies sheltered from the world. Some citizens, like Fierfl the Tailor and Miss Darkniss the Candle Maker, have never even seen the sea. Then a ship washes up with a lone survivor -- a small, odd, hairy figure the townspeople take for a Frenchman and call Monsieur Eek. While thirteen-year-old Emmaline and her best friend, Philip, welcome Monsieur Eek, devious Shmink the Bailiff has other plans. In short order the newcomer is arrested as a foreign spy and put on trial for his life. Emmaline mounts a spirited defense. But as the town's fear of foreigners (and Frenchmen) grows, it seems that nothing will save her new friend. In his first book for young readers, noted playwright and humorist David Ives makes a memorable debut, creating a sparkling fable, moving and funny, about two young people who risk everything to change the minds -- and the history -- of an entire town.

    Scrib

    Scrib
    The night before his thirteenth birthday, Billy Christmas runs away from home in stodgy St. Louis and rides off to the Wild West, where he becomes Scrib, letter writer for lovelorn cowboys and wild-eyed outlaws. Here is Scrib's own story, told in bubbling prose and babbling epistles, an ambling tale set in 1863, as Scrib travels his rounds on his horse Gabe, befriending all and running into deadly danger along the way. This is probably the funniest, most outrageous cowboy story you will ever read. With the cleverness of Mark Twain at his best, the hilarity of a Mel Brooks movie, and the fast-moving speed of a train wreck, this is the Old West as it may not have been -- but should have!

    Ancient History

    Ancient History
    THE STORY: Ruth and Jack, both in their mid-thirties, believe themselves perfectly suited to each other. But when Ruth suddenly mentions marriage, a subtle but ominous change is felt in their relationship. As it happens, Ruth is Jewish, Jack is a lapsed Catholic who scorns religion; she is career oriented and bent on success; he is a poorly paid teacher who is happy to settle for what he has; she fears her stern parents would never accept her marrying a non-Jewish man; he has already been through one failed marriage and is wary of repeating his mistake. And while the mood at first is light-hearted and filled with brightly humorous lines, it is also punctuated by the random ringing of an unseen phone—at which times the protagonists quickly vary the mood and express their secret feelings and recriminations in brief, often caustic, monologues. Later, no holds are barred, and the irreconcilable differences that were largely sublimated in the beginning now burst forth in full fury, leading to a monumental explosion and, apparently, Ruth and Jack's acceptance of the sobering truth that there is more that divides than unites them.

    Polish Joke and Other Plays

    Polish Joke and Other Plays
    Including Don Juan in Chicago, Ancient History,...
    This collection brings together four full-length plays from the same dazzling pen that produced the one-act comic masterpieces of All In The Timing: Polish Joke is about a young Polish-American's trip through ethnic stereotypes. Nine-year-old Midwesterner Jan Bogdan Sadlowski, nicknamed, Jasiu, is told by his uncle that Poles are thought to be" backward, stupid, inept, and gloomy." The only way out is for Jaisu "to impersonate someone not Polish." Don Juan In Chicago, called in which a Renaissance innocent makes a deal with the devil only to become a reluctant Latin lover. Ancient History, this comedy-drama about the holy war that breaks out when two people from two very different cultures fall in love. The Red Address, the searing portrait of a man with a secret who is forced by tragedy into self-revelation.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Betty, a woman in her late twenties, is reading at a cafe table. An empty chair is opposite her. Bill, same age enters. BILL: Excuse me. Is this chair taken?

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • PHILIP GLASS: I also need some change. (The BAKER points to the NO CHANGE sign.)

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
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