r2p logo120'All in the Timing' is a collection of six of the funniest one-act plays ever – monkeys banging away at typewriters, imaginary languages, the world's worst first date, and more. Running to Places (R2P) presents the hilarious comedy Feb. 24-26 at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School (BJM), 302 W Buffalo St., Ithaca. (Note: the show may not be suitable for the youngest children.)

'Sure Thing' features a first date where the fumbling couple gets countless do-overs; in 'Words, Words, Words,' three monkeys typing into infinity will eventually create Hamlet – if they can overcome their writers' block; 'The Universal Language' explores whether a new (gibberish) language can be the key to happiness; "Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread" is a musical parody of minimalist composer Philip Glass and his reminiscences about an old flame; 'The Philadelphia' finds a man ensnared in an unlucky and anomalous pocket of reality; and in "Variations on the Death of Trotsky" Marxist revolutionary and politician Leon Trotsky has died – but don't tell him that.

Joey Steinhagen, R2P artistic director, says he chose the comic show for its brilliant writing. "It's like a one-night master class, from post-modern classical music to chaos theory, exploring how one random act affects all future moments. But its genius isn't alienating – you can just come and enjoy monkeys hitting typewriters and Philip Glass' mad musical journey.

"In different ways, all the one-acts touch on how easy it is for us to miss connecting with each other, especially in the modern world," adds Steinhagen. "It's called 'All in the Timing' because sometimes that's all it takes: I zig and you zag. But real connections between people are what makes society and creates culture on a big scale and what makes love possible."

The cast has been delving deep in to the characters and pulling out every nuance, applying a sophisticated touch to the humorous characters. One result, says Steinhagen, is the sweetness the actors bring out in the characters. "In 'Sure Thing' you're really rooting for the couple," he says. "And 'Universal Language' is a parody of Esperanto but it's also touching and charming the way the cast plays it."

The intimacy of BJM's theater is a perfect setting for the show, says Steinhagen. The venue is a favorite of his; he calls its pretty proscenium stage and full balcony one of the best-kept secrets in town.

Costumes will be by Liz Woods and Hallie Malina with sets by Jim and Deb Drew; the design team also includes Jeremy Pletter, resident music director and Tucker Davis, movement consultant, with lights and sound by Brian Ugorowski.

All in the Timing is supported by an anonymous fund at the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. Additional grant support is provided by the Park Foundation and the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County, with season-long support from CSP Management.

The show runs one weekend only: Feb. 24-26, Friday and Saturday at 7 PM, Sunday at 2 PM.