The short plays of American David Ives are some of the funniest of the past 20 years. The eight works in Talking Camel 's A Night Out With Ives capture some of that humour, but often you can't help feeling that something's missing. Ives takes ordinary characters - construction workers, on-the-make guys, wry salt-of-the-earth church women - and gives them an unexpected spin, producing the pieces' comedy. Most of the cast does good work - especially the women, Christina Sicoli , Kelly Bolt and Katharine McLeod - but the show needs sharper direction and tighter tempos from director Josh Bloch .
There are lots of laughs in a sketch about an impromptu pickup where the multiple dead ends are noted by a ringing bell (Sicoli and Jason Gray are both memorable), and another about a hot night out for two short-lived mayflies (McLeod and David Galpern , with Jeffrey Margolis doing a dead-on David Attenborough imitation). But the other pieces are hit and miss, the two final episodes heavy-handed and unfunny. See listings for details.
One of the most successful new-work development series in the 90s was the Theatre Centre 's B.A.N.G ., a blend of cabaret and party. The acronym means whatever you want, but the A stands for art. The centre's new artistic director, Franco Boni , revives the series, with three set for this season. Sandra Alland curates the first, set for Sunday (January 25), and she's rounded up creators and performers Keira Loughran , Trevor Schwellnus , Jonathan Pinksen , ngozi paul , nah-ee-lah , Spirit Synott , Tamara Toledo , the Turtle Gals and Gein Wong . Patrick Conner hosts the evening, whose works range from two to 10 minutes. See listings for details. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org