Noises Off by Michael Frayn is one of my all time favorite plays! So, to say I am more judgmental of productions of shows I love is a major understatement. And we all know I’m not shy about letting you know when I hate something. Well, I’m also ready to shout from the rooftops when I love something, and I absolutely friggin loved SecondStory Rep’s production of Noises Off!!!! It was sooooooooooooooo good!
Noises Off is a play within a play type of show. The audience gets the joy of watching a goofy, quirky group of British actors rehearsing a play called Nothing On! You get a look at all the magic that goes in to getting a play ready for an audience complete with a frustrated director, confused actors, exhausted stage hands, and egos everywhere! Relationships that form within a tight knit cast is a very real thing, and Mr. Frayn exploits this in the best way possible!
These relationships take you on quite the journey that is a marathon of a show, not a sprint. When you combine the heavy line load for the actors, the physical decathlon that the director has to create with staging all three parts, and the complication of the turning of the ENTIRE set, you have on hell of a show to pull off. Well, Executive Artistic Director, Mark Chenovik put together an amazing production staff who then cast one of the best ensembles I’ve seen in a long time to more than pull this show off!
Let’s start with the set. Unbelievable! Amazing! Phenomenal! If you’ve never been to SecondStory, let me tell you this is not a big theatre. The stage area is not that big, and I had no idea how they were going to manage to create a set large enough to hold this ensemble with all the ‘bathrooms and doors’ necessary for the story, not to mention then turn the sucker around for the second part, and then put it back for part three! And yet….oh, and yet….it was done beautifully! It was a masterpiece, and I am so glad I got to witness how it was done! If you go see this show…or actually, WHEN, when you go see this show, when intermission rolls around, don’t go out to the lobby, instead stay in your seat and watch the magic that Mr. Chenovick and Jen Klos, Managing Director, pull off with just the help of one crew person. BRAVO!!!
Now, on to the rest of the production team. Kevin Miller directed this beautifully. Noises Off is great if one just lets it be what it is supposed to be, which is British farce/comedy, and Mr. Miller did just that. He also cast a fantastic group of actors to tackle this beast and each actor was cast perfectly! The costumes were delightful, the dialect was spot on with all of them, and every production element was on point! Well done!
The ensemble was pure magic. Every single one of them had specific character development, wonderful line readings, and delicious chemistry. They listened to each other, leaned in to each other, and played off each other so well, it was wonderful to watch. Calling out standout performances is like trying to decide who is a better broadway diva, Patti LuPone or Alan Cumming! But, I did have my favorites. Sara Trowbridge as Belinda was simply spectacular! I loved her high brow accent, her nosy nature, and her hilarious ability to manage Selsdon. Additionally, her husband Freddie, played by Jaryl Draper, was wonderfully understated, deliciously dense, and fantastically lovable. And Dan Davidson as Tim was simply everything. He was so brilliantly cast in this part, simply reacting to
all the madness going on around him in the most hilarious way! He brought to life a character that can often get lost in this sea of dynamic roles, and yet Tim is the one I gushed about with friends after the show because Mr. Davidson committed to that character so completely, I was simply blown away! Bravo to the entire cast for stellar performances all around! You should all be very proud to be a part of this show, and I thank you for bringing it to life so beautifully.
Noises Off will continue to make audiences laugh through July 5th. You should go get tickets now, because once the word is out, this show is going to sell out! Ticket and show time information can be found on SecondStory’s website.
Loved this! So very much! Please go see this show and support this wonderful cast and crew!
Ciao for now,
Photos from SecondStory Repertory’s Facebook page, credit to Michael Brunk