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‘Soapbox’ triples laughter factor

Jake Ostendorf and Jeff Chalmers play cavemen in “Babels in Arms,” one of three short comedic plays presented tonight and next weekend by the Soapbox Players at Hobgoblin Music Loft. (Photo by Rob Meyer)

Monkeys, cavemen and soapsuds: the three, seemingly unrelated topics, come together for one evening as the Soapbox Players present “All in the Timing.”

The show continues tonight at 7:30 p.m. and runs again Friday May 23 to Sunday May 25 at Hobgoblin Music Loft in Red Wing.

Audiences will experience three out of the six award-winning short laugh-out-loud plays written by David Ives, including “Soap Opera,” “Babels in Arms” and “Words, Words, Words.”

The trilogy is directed by locals Julie Martin, Min MartinOakes and Michelle Meyer.

“Soap Opera” is about a washing machine repair man who is in love with a washer. 

The short features David Oakes as the Maypole repair man; Helene Olson-Reed in a dual role as girlfriend Mabel and his mother; and Sarah McCormick Hoffman as the washing machine.

Paul O’Connell plays the friend and a madman, and Sandra Nelson plays the snooty Maître d’ in a French restaurant.

Director MartinOakes says she is enjoying directing this piece.

“We have had so much fun preparing this show for our audience. We laugh our way through each rehearsal. The writing is so witty and just plain silly. We have a strong cast who can do justice to this clever script,” she said.

“Babels in Arms,” directed by Meyer, features Jeff Chalmers and Jake Ostendorf as two cavemen in a female dominated society headed by a high priestess, portrayed by Julie Martin.

The priestess travels with a eunuch, played by Paul O’Connell. Anna Ostendorf plays the business woman who contracts the two cavemen on an impossible job — build a high tower to the heavens.

“Even in the caveman era there was hierarchy and hijinks,” Meyer said.

“In this show the little guys, or in this case the big cavemen, have a few tricks up their tunics that help them rise to the top of the pyramid.”

Concluding the show is “Words, Words, Words” based on the premise that three chimpanzees placed in front of typewriters can eventually churn out a Shakespearean masterpiece quite by accident.

It stars Meyer, Melanie Velasco and Ostendorf as the typing chimps. They plot against the doctor in charge of the experiment and begin to stumble into an unexpected result.

“I’ve never played a non-human character before, and it’s been a lot of fun getting to know my monkey side,” Martin said.

“It has been fun watching the women try on their monkey skin and ‘discover life in a simpler key’ as Billy Collins said,” she said of directing the short.

No reservations or advance ticket sales are offered, so an early arrival is suggested.

Tickets are $10.

If you go …

What: “All in the Timing… ” by David Ives. The show is for audiences ages 16 and older.

When: 7:30 p.m. today and again Friday May 23-Sunday May 25

Where: Hobgoblin Music Loft, 920 Highway 19

Cost: $10, limited seating and no reservations

More info: 651-388-8400 or