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."
About the Author
David Ives was born in Chicago and educated at Northwestern University and Yale School of Drama. A Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting, he is probably best known for his evening of one-act comedies called "All In the Timing." The show won the Outer Critics Circle Playwriting Award, ran for two years Off-Broadway, and in the 1995-96 season was the most-performed play in the country after Shakespeare productions. His short plays are collected in two anthologies, "All In the Timing" (Vintage) and "Time Flies" (Grove). His full-length works for theatre are available in "Polish Joke and Other Plays" (Grove). He is also the author of a young adult novel, Monsieur Eek (HarperCollins), the almost-true story of how a chimpanzee got mistaken for a Frenchman.
David Ives is an Artistic Associate at Encores!, the celebrated forum for great American musicals at City Center, New York, where to date he has adapted 15 of their shows. He adapted David Copperfield's "Dreams and Nightmares" for Broadway, wrote the book for "Dance of the Vampires," the Jim Steinman Broadway musical, and is the co-bookwriter of "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," which premiered in San Francisco to huge acclaim in winter 2004. He lives in New York City with his wife Martha.
"Theater that aerobicizes the brain and tickles the heart...Ives is a mordant comic who has put the play back in playwright." -- Time