BWW Review: NOISES OFF Wows Audiences at The Barn Players
Noises Off, the hilarious farce on theater by Michael Frayn, opened Friday night July 18 at The Barn Players in Mission, Kan. Frayn wrote the 1982 play after watching from the wings of a play he had written for Lynn Redgrave. He said, "It was funnier from behind than in front, and I thought that one day I must write a farce from behind."
Bill Pelletier directs a fabulous cast in one of the best-produced plays performed on The Barn Players stage. Every aspect of the production is done to the highest quality, whether it be the set design by Bill Wright, costume design by Marla Gonzales, or the work of stunt coordinator Jeremy Riggs. The work of dialect coach Tamara Kingston was very impressive as the accents used by the performers helped to transport the audience to England.
The three-act play-within-the-play is a humorous look at the behind the scenes life of the actors rehearsing the night before the play opens. As the play progresses in act two the production has moved to another theater and the lives of the actors, seen from behind the scenery, has become more complex and the slap stick style of humor flourishes. Act three brings nearly nonstop laughs as the actors, merely trying to go through the motions, perform the first act at a third theater.
Vicki Kerns portrays Dotty Otley who is portraying Mrs. Clackett in the play Nothing On. Kerns is wonderful as the forgetful actor, who stumbles through her lines and as we later learn her private life. Her actions and expressions are so natural that you can nearly forget that she is playing an actor playing a part.
David Martin gives a superb performance as Garry Lejeune who is playing Roger, a real estate agent trying to have an affair at the home of Frederick (Freddy) Fellowes, who is supposed to be in Spain. Off stage, Lejeune is having an affair with Dotty who sparks his jealousy as she flirts with Phillip Brent.
The audience is introduced early to Lloyd Dallas, played by R. Kevan Myers, the director of the ill-fated Nothing On. Myers gives a strong performance coping with the idiosyncrasies of his unique and somewhat disturbed cast. The hilarity continues as he later tries to keep the play intact and manage being part of a love triangle.
Brooke Ashton is an inexperienced actor who plays Vicki in Nothing On. Rachael Redler is wonderful as the actor who puts a new meaning to, "the show must go on!" Regardless of the actions of the other characters in Nothing On, she continues with her lines as if she received the perfect cue.
Robert Michael Stewart stars as Philip Brent who stars as Frederick (Freddy) Fellowes. Fellowes, the owner of the house, has a strong disgust for violence and blood. Stewart gives such a grand performance that each time he passes out from seeing his own blood the audience could nearly pass out from the laughter.
Also starring in Noises Off are David Krom, Victoria Hoffman, Laura Burt, and Michael Juncker. The entire cast delivers some of the best comedic performances seen on Kansas City stages.
If you are looking for sidesplitting, knee-slapping, roll in the aisle laughs, then you do not want to miss Noises Off. Noises Off continues at The Barn Players through August 3. Purchase tickets at The Barn Players website. Photo courtesy of The Barn Players.