Thursday, September 29, 2011
Ives Is a Saint When It Comes to Writing Entertaining Plays
Experience and Shakespereans. That's just one of the clever rhymes in David Ives' rollicking Heir Apparent at the Shakespeare Theatre. I've been an Ives fan ever since I saw All in the Timing many years ago; that's the evening of one-acts which includes the now-classic, first-date vignette where the bell rings any time someone says something off-putting to the other. Studio had a huge hit earlier this year with Ives' Venus in Fur, an intense play about an actress auditioning for a part. The play is now headed for Broadway. Meanwhile, Ives, Michael Kahn and Shakespeare Theatre have found a new cottage industry in obscure French comedies that Ives restores with rhyming dialogue. Last year was The Liar and Heir Apparent is equally funny and clever. The other revelation here is Carson Elrod as the servant Crispin. Where has he been? His energy and ability to play off of the always-great Floyd King give Heir Apparent its enormous energy. Along with Habit of Art, we are truly lucky to have two very entertaining plays in DC right now.