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Theater Review: “All in the Timing”

“All in the Timing” plays through May 5, 2019 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach.
Photo credit:
Aaron Rumley

Playwright David Ives is fascinated by words, and in “All in the Timing” he gives us six short plays demonstrating how they can be used, abused and misused. The intent here is strictly amusement.

North Coast Repertory Theatre’s David Ellenstein directs the play, which features six fine actors playing characters as diverse as “Words, Words, Words,” about three chimps at typewriters attempting to write “Hamlet” (to please the experimenters who put them there) to “Foreplay, or the Art of the Fugue,” in which a sextet of golfers play, swear and self-excuse their way around a golf course.

Everyone will identify with “Sure Thing,” which takes place at a coffee shop table where Betty (Noelle Marion) is trying to read Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury,” but keeps getting interrupted by a series of men (Christian Pedersen) who want to share the table (and maybe more). Countless conversational gambits are explored in rat-a-tat fashion, to great audience hilarity.

My favorite? It’s a toss-up between those chimps (called Milton, Swift and Kafka, and played by Omri Schein, David McBean and Uma Incrocci, respectively) and “Variations on the Death of Trotsky,” in which Omri Schein’s

revolutionary continues on with his work until Mrs. Trotsky (Incrocci) points out the axe in his skull. (Trotsky famously died in Mexico City when the killer, posing as a gardener, sank an axe in his skull.) This drives Trotsky to check an encyclopedia to see whether this is really how he dies. (If that doesn’t sound funny, wait till you see it.)

McBean and Schein, regulars on the local comedy scene, are terrific. Noelle Marion shows herself able to switch attitudes at the ding of a bell in “Sure Thing” – no small feat – and is just as much fun to watch as a golfer.

Uma Incrocci is a welcome new face, equally adept at the Kafka chimp as in the difficult part of Dawn, who comes to McBean’s teacher Don to learn “The Universal Language.”

Christian Pedersen is comically persistent as the guy who wants to pick up Marion in the coffee shop and as the golfer who has to outshine everybody else.

“All in the Timing” is a little dated, but it won’t tax your brain too much, and it’s guaranteed to provide some giggles.

The details

“All in the Timing” plays through May 5, 2019 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach.

Wednesday at 7 pm; Thursday and Friday at 8 pm; Saturday at 2 and 8 pm; Sunday at 2 and 7 pm.

Tickets: (858) 481-1055 or northcoastrep.org