BWW Reviews: Great Use of Time in ALL IN THE TIMING at Boise State University
Boise State University often puts on a play that opens in the first week or two of October. School started the last week of August, then you have to have auditions and call backs so since the cast was set, they have only had three weeks. Impressive.
You walk in and the seating is unusual and funky.(The seating in the Danny P[eterson] is always new in that it is a black box theater with three stadium seating banks that can be in multiple configurations). The seating was unusual this time in that the seating banks were not used at all and it appeared that the prop shop was raided of every seating surface. There were chairs of every style, size and fabric. It made the audience a part of the preshow entertainment. Watching to see what would guide their decisions, which chair/seat to sit in or where the location was of the chair/seat.
The set and lights (Michael Baltzell and Raquel Davis respectively) gave me the feel of a 1960's lounge. Such fun colors with the purples, reds, and oranges. The collage of newspapers and photos gave a glimpse into the show, if you knew what to look for. The set was simple yet gave enough definition to be flexible on the location with the sharply angled walls and checkerboard floor.
The night was a night of one-acts written by David Ives. ALL IN THE TIMING is composed of: WORDS, WORDS, WORDS, ENGLISH MADE SIMPLE, VARIATIONS ON THE DEATH OF TROTSKY, THE PHILIDELPHIA (my personal favorite), SURE THING, and THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE. All originally produced from 1987-1994.
Our MC (Master of Ceremonies), Tess Gregg Worstell, was very entertaining and had a lovely signing voice. Her costume was full of "flair" in the right amount and in the right places. It was reminiscent of CABARET's MC. I thought that it helped move the show along and distract from the scene changes, which were very efficient.
I was very impressed with the actors: there were only six of them, and in each "show" the actors came out with completely different characters. The characters all had different dialects as well. The dialects were guided by Anne Price, a professor at the University. The actors portrayed New York, Russian, and Spanish characters and all were believable. The six actors were: Tess Gregg Worstell, Cameron Needham, Jaclyn Wernofsky, Corey Rambough, Annie Bulow, and Mitchel Shohet.
The costume designer, B Benjamin Weigel, made some very intelligent choices in the costume designs. Each show had their own pallet and you could tell the relationship of the characters based on the colors each character had. When you look at the performance as a whole all the characters can be identifiable as belonging together.
This was impressive for only three weeks of rehearsal (including Tech Week).