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‘Lives of the Saints’ by David Ives, theater review

Joe Dziemianowicz


Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 10:00 PM

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Liv Rooth and Carson Elron in "Soap Opera," one of six short plays by David Ives.Liv Rooth and Carson Elron in “Soap Opera,” one of six short plays by David Ives.

Waiting for laughs to land and sparks to fly in “Lives of the Saints” requires the patience of a you-know-what.

Yes, bright moments come and go on occasion in these six mini plays. But you want — and expect — a lot more from David Ives (“Venus In Fur”), a wildly witty writer, and John Rando (“On the Town”), a director with 20/20 vision for comedy.

The pair teamed up in 2013 for “All in the Timing,” a superior Ives sampler. This new Primary Stages collaboration suggests that it’s really all in the material.

The show begins on a wry-but-meh note with “The Goodness of Your Heart,” about two men, one pricey TV and the nature of friendship.

The weird-for-weirdness’ sake pun-soaked “Soap Opera” spins out a Boy Meets Major Appliance romance. The dexterously synced but pointless “Enigma Variations” concerns a woman whose identity crisis has the audience seeing double.

The randy “Life Signs” concerns a guy who learns way too much about his late mother. Funny stuff, but Ives gropes for an ending.

In “It’s All Good,” about chance and choices, a successful writer comes face-to-face, “Twilight Zone”-style, with what might have been.

The play that gives the production its title, “Lives of the Saints,” centers on the divinity of ordinary lives and ingeniously reveals how theatrical magic is made. It ends the evening on a sweet note.

The cast includes Arnie Burton, Carson Elrod, Rick Holmes, Kelly Hutchinson and Liv Rooth. The show is a mixed bag, but when it comes to this versatile ensemble, it’s all good.


theater ,
theater reviews ,
arnie burton ,
carson elrod ,
rick holmes ,
kelly hutchinson
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