BWW Reviews: NOISES OFF Is A Side-Splitting Opener For FAC's Season

BWW Reviews: NOISES OFF Is A Side-Splitting Opener For FAC's Season

Whether you've been acting professionally for years or just have fond memories of high school drama club, Noises Off is sure to inspire gales of knowing laughter. Michael Frayn's theatrical comedy reads like a compilation of every onstage mishap, backstage drama, snide director, temperamental star, exhausted techie, and general theatrical disaster you've ever experienced or heard about.

It's also a play ripe for disaster itself. The action is an intricate dance of entrances and exits with props being tossed about, clothing coming off, pratfalls, and sudden reversals and revelations in character relationships-and that's just the play-within-a-play, a patently ludicrous sex farce called Nothing On. The offstage antics double down on all of the above, eventually resulting in both sides of the story crashing in a wonderful display of theatrical chaos. Like a skilled stunt team, the director and cast need sharp precision and timing to prevent the simulated catastrophe from becoming the real thing.

If the Fine Arts Center's production of Noises Off doesn't come through completely unscathed, it at least gets away with just a few minor scratches and burns. Cory Moosman's direction is skilled, if a little unfocused: a cactus was fully employed in the action (really, it would take far too long to explain) almost before I noticed it had been introduced. A couple of lines get lost here and there, but the cast puts every ounce of energy into this harried British touring troupe. Standouts in the company are Max Ferguson as the endearingly sweet, hopelessly dim Frederick, and Sammie Jo Kinnett as Nothing On's tempestuous director Lloyd Dallas. By turns urbane and insane, Kinnett's Lloyd is both a victim of his company's discord and a sower of it, as his violent outbursts and romantic liaisons add pressure to the already strained cast. Scott Bellot gains applause and accolades with some well-executed pratfalls (including a stair flight-long tumble culminating in an almost balletic flip center-stage), and Joye Cook-Levy and Tim Allgood add subtler grace notes of humor as the overworked, underappreciated stage managers. FAC veteran Christopher L. Sheley has provided a fantastic set for Noises Off, a massive construct of a country house that turns 180 degrees for the play's gut-busting middle act, which gives the audience a glimpse into the kind of madness that goes on once actors exit into the wings.

With so much physical action and rapid-fire dialogue, it's easy to lose track of who's who and what's what in Noises Off, but the humor is in such abundance that it's best just to hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

NOISES OFF plays now through October 20th at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, and Thursday September 27th at 7:30pm. For tickets, call the box office at 719-634-5583 or visit www.csfineartscenter.org.

Photo Credit: Jeff Kearney

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BWW Reviews: NOISES OFF Is A Side-Splitting Opener For FAC's Season
Joye Cook-Levy, Sammie Joe Kinnett, Casiena Raether, Max Ferguson

BWW Reviews: NOISES OFF Is A Side-Splitting Opener For FAC's Season
Noises Off FAC Theater September 21, 2013. Photo by Jeff Kearney

BWW Reviews: NOISES OFF Is A Side-Splitting Opener For FAC's Season
Noises Off FAC Theater September 21, 2013. Photo by Jeff Kearney

high res photos




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