If you haven’t seen “Time Flies with David Ives,” the Madera South High School Theatre Company’s presentation of the play by Ives, be sure you do.
The play is a serious comedy — as stimulating to the mind as it is to the funny bone.
The production is a series of short plays within a play, each a comedy with serious side notes.
The production’s narrator is its playwright — David Ives, played by Joseph Fuentes, who works alone, but surrounded by people he makes up in his head and whose lives he puts on stage.
Once Ives introduces himself with a monologue, he turns to the title playlet, called “Time Flies,” about two mayflies — a male and a female — who learn their lives will only be 24 hours long (just long enough to produce baby mayflies before becoming food for salmon and trout.) What seems like a tragic life is told in comedic wordplay. Eric Martin and Jasmine Sulit, as the mayflies, make you feel sorry for them and envy them at the same time.
The second miniplay, “Degas, C’est Moi,” is about a man, whom we know only as Ed, who isn’t happy with his own life, so imagines himself to be Edgar Degas, the impressionist painter. Michael Flores is very funny as Degas, and Ellie West is at once understanding and practical as his breadwinner wife. West also plays two other parts among the 13-actor supporting cast.
Other good performances include those of Jorge Barajas, Taylor Beakes, Ruby Arreguin and Tara Harford in “Soap Opera,” a piece about a washing machine repairman, who falls in love with a washing machine, which is also a vamp. Producer and drama instructor Ginger Latimer as usual gets the most from her cast, showing again she is one of the city’s arts treasures.
She should, however, remind her players that they need to project their voices, as they tend to talk to one another instead of the audience, which shares the stage with them and would like to stay abreast of what they’re saying.