I had the opportunity to see a fabulous play the other night-
A Flea in her Ear, by Feydeau--translated into English, of course, although, back in the day (first semester of undergrad), I took a French class called French Comedy and Farce, and we had to read it in FRENCH.
I was at a highly prestigious summer theater festival that has seen the likes of Blythe Danner and her somewhat famous daughter...you know..what's her name...oh yea--Gwyneth Paltrow (in one of the pics she was just 8 years old in a play there), walk through the doors and out the stage actor's exit once the curtain came down.
Aaaanyway, it was a study in comedic timing.
And a good one at that.
In comedy, there is laughter from the audience. Sometimes, where you never expect. Because of a gesture, a double take, a word, the TONE of that word...
and here, wrapped up in a delightful little bundle of acting and directing, was an amazing book from which the actors had to shape their words, phrases, bodies, and minds.
Yes, I caught them ...sometimes thinking ahead to their next line while putting on the 'face' of listening to their dialogue counterpart.
But about 95% of the time it was flawless, seemed so natural, off the cuff, and non-rehearsed, even though I'm sure that it was quite the opposite...meaning-OVER rehearsed to a point of exhaustion where everyone was convinced they were NOT funny anymore...and then--voila, you have a comedy.