A Conversation With Playwright David Ives, the Mind Behind All in the Timing

By Harry Haun
20 Jan 2013

All in the Timing's Eric Clem
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Was it the Moliere influence that makes you think that?
Actually, I'm not a Moliere fan. I wanted to work on The Misanthrope because I never liked The Misanthrope. It always seemed like a comedy that Moliere left the comedy out of — or a tragedy that he never made tragic enough. I've never been satisfied by The Misanthrope, but I always thought it was a great idea for a comedy so I decided, basically, to fix what Moliere never got around to.

I also did for the Shakespeare Theatre of Washington The Liar, which is adapted from Pierre Corneille. It's going to be done here as a reading Feb. 11 by Red Bull Theatre, and there's a theatre that has been wanting to do it here for a couple of years. Finding the right personnel is part of the problem.

Last season I did a Jean-Francois Regnard play called The Heir Apparent, which had Carson Elrod in it, and he won a Washington acting award for it. He is, I think, one of our most brilliant comedians. I think he is as funny as anybody in New York right now or in this country right now. It amazes me that he's not a household word. In Heir Apparent, he was sublime. He played a servant who impersonates three different people — two men and one woman — and was extraordinary, right at the top of his game.

It's a delight to have him in All in the Timing. He also did A Flea in Her Ear up at Williamstown, directed by John Rando. He played the nephew with the speech impediment, and he stopped the show with it.

Those are the French plays that I've worked on. I do love working in verse because it's sort of an extra little challenge to compress language into iambic pentameter and use couplets, which is not usually fun but I try to make it as much "fun" as I can.

What is the next new show of yours that will be opening here?
Well, I don't know. It depends on which theatre does which French classical comedy, I would say.

How many have you got lined up for New York?
Well, The Metromaniacs is for Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, but I have The Heir Apparent and The Liar waiting to come to New York, "coming to a theatre near you." I don't know when.

I wish you well with all of that. It's been interesting to grow old with you.

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Eric Clem, Carson Elrod, Matthew Saldivar, John Rando, Jenn Harris, David Ives and Liv Rooth
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN