Noises Off! Get’s its Funny On!
By Patrick Hurley
Michael Frayn’s comedy Noises Off! Now playing at A Noise Within, is widely considered one of the funniest plays of all time. It’s a high-paced, low brow farce about the production of a play that goes horribly wrong. It’s a deconstruction of sorts of the whacky and high wire world of live theater. Backstage antics and personal relationship drama all bleed over into the performance of the fictional play entitled Nothing On.
This production, directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Geoff Elliott is mostly well-paced and nicely choreographed. Most of the issues come in Act Two, which takes place entirely backstage. It’s too lit and too open. The use of the entire theater pulls focus from the tightness of being backstage during a performance and it slows the action down. The build up in Act Two is also a bit off. It feels like the stakes are too low and the actors aren’t quite at the pace or energy level required to give the play the exact momentum it requires. There is a build to the play that is rather hard to fully accomplish, but this production is silly, and over-the-top just enough to maintain it’s two and a half hour running time with very few hiccups.
The cast is clearly having a good time, they all bring their high energy comedic chops to the table. And the physical comedy, especially Kasey Mahaffy’s pratfalls as Garry are right on the money. So all in all, this is a really enjoyable night of madcap silliness that everyone can enjoy.
By Michael Frayn
A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; ends May 26. See website for additional performances.
Info: (626) 356-3121 or www.anoisewithin.org
Running time: 2 hours, 35 minutes