“All in the Timing” offered by Seattle STAGEright

There are just three performances remaining of STAGEright’s take on seven short plays by David Ives. Mr. Ives’ best-known work “Venus in Fur” was a smash hit on Broadway last year, and is coming to Seattle Rep next year. Meanwhile, you can get a taste of his humor, quick wit, and sophistication in these short presentations.

The best in this production are the first two pieces. We can all relate to “Sure Thing” where a man and a woman who don’t know each other share a table in a cafe and hesitantly start up a conversation. Oh, do they do it wrong! Each time they make a false start, a bell rings and they start again. Bit by bit they get it right, and thus begins what might be the beginning of a grand relationship. A funny yet sweet playlet.

In “The Universal Language,” a shy, self-conscious woman falls prey to a scammer. He offers a fraudulent course in what he purports is a universal language. She is so naive, so insecure that she plunks down her money for the nonsense he presents. He launches into his gibberish with a sincerity and intensity that eventually convince her this is the real thing. As they jibber jabber, Cupid launches his arrow, and romance fills the stage. It’s charming.

In “Foreplay: or the Art of the Fugue” we have a delicious fusion of miniature golf and sex. Who knew?

The other pieces are less successful. In some, the joke is carried on too long becoming tedious. In others the punch is just too soft. Yet overall, the young actors are engaging, and the pre-play activities are both unexpected and amusing.

Thorough June 29 at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle (seattlestageright.org)

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