Hilarity Ensues: NOISES OFF Opens at Cumberland County Playhouse on Friday Night

Hilarity Ensues: NOISES OFF Opens at Cumberland County Playhouse on Friday Night
Clockwise from top left: Weslie Webster,
Jensen Crain-Foster, Britt Hancock,
and Daniel Black. Center: Jason Ross.

- photo by Barry Brown Images.

Michael Frayn's Noises Off, considered by many as the greatest farce ever written, opens Friday, March 8, at Cumberland County Playhouse, featuring a cast of CCP favorites bringing all the onstage/offstage/backstage hilarity to life in Crossville.

"Noises Off remains one of the most popular comedies we've ever produced," explains Bryce McDonald, CCP's producing director. "I'm delighted we're bringing the show back to the Playhouse after 15 years, especially with this remarkable cast led by one of my favorite directors!"

Directed by Kathleen Gilpatrick, Noises Off is a deftly written backstage comedy that combines slapstick, British farce, and non-stop hilarity. In it, audiences meet a second-rate theater troupe rehearsing a flop called Nothing On. Slamming doors, intrigue both onstage and off-, and an ever-increasing number of misplaced sardines all figure into the plot of this uproarious disaster.

In the first act of Noises Off, opening night is just hours away and the hapless cast of 'Nothing On' struggles to complete a dress rehearsal of their ill-fated play. In the second act, the audience is transported backstage as the set revolves and reveals a cast on the verge of disaster, as trysts and betrayals send the production into chaos. The final act returns to the company onstage for their final performance. With lines being forgotten, love triangles unraveling, and sardines flying everywhere, it's complete pandemonium.

CCP's cast for Noises Off includes Daniel Black (Stand By Your Man), Jensen Crain-Foster (A Sanders Family Christmas), Bill Frey (Inspecting Carol), Ross Griffin (Million Dollar Quartet), Britt Hancock (Holiday Inn), Hannah Hays (The Marvelous Wonderettes), Emma Jordan (Boeing Boeing), Jason Ross (Sweeney Todd), and Weslie Webster (The Mousetrap).

Called the "funniest play written in my lifetime" by former New York Times critic Frank Rich, Noises Off premiered on Broadway in 1983 and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. The show was an immediate hit and has been wildly popular ever since. Noises Off is a true classic that reaches comedic heights rarely achieved in the 30-plus years since it was written.

Noises Off plays on the CCP Mainstage through April 18. Tickets may be purchased at (931) 484-5000 or at www.ccplayhouse.com.

Currently at the Playhouse: Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park in the Adventure Theater through March 22. Upcoming: Forever Plaid in the Adventure Theater, March 29 through May 24.

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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis

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