From axes to flowers, sheikhs to actors, and whiskey to sardines, the comedic combinations of Interboro High School's production of Noises Off! made for a show of farcical proportions.
Noises Off! is a farce about a play within a play; it follows the production of the fictional comedy Nothing On from the dress rehearsal to a performance near the end of its run. The focus fluctuates between the backstage events and the onstage production, with each actor playing both an actor offstage and that actor's character onstage. Written in 1982 by the English playwright Michael Frayn, it was quickly transferred to the Savoy Theater in London's West End after it opened, where it ran until 1987 and has been popular ever since.
Interboro's production was made especially challenging because the setting was changed from England in the 80's to modern-day America and most roles were double cast. This meant that not only did the actors have to switch back and forth between British and American accents (because Nothing On was still set in England), but also they each had less rehearsal time than if only one person was cast per role. Both of these issues were met with a good effort by the cast.
The action and humor of the show really began in the second act, which featured an impressive slapstick sequence with an ax backstage. Energy was building throughout the second and third acts because of the cast's enthusiasm, which gave the entire show a strong finish.
The characters Lloyd (Tré Fountain) and Brooke (Nicole Zuppo) were both believable in their roles and Selsdon (Kyle Pedrick) had good comedic timing. Garry (Cody Kunze), Dotty (Sarah Evans), Freddy (Ed Heinemann), and Belinda (Tara Focht) all contributed nicely to the funny relationship disputes which kept the plot moving.
For the backstage characters, Tim (Kevin Robinson) the stage manager was especially energetic and endearing throughout the production. His dynamic facial expressions made him one of the most engaging characters onstage. Poppy (Brittany Moyer), the assistant stage manager, tackled her understated role well.
The set lent itself suitably to the production and the multitudes of doors were obviously well constructed. Because the actors were constantly coming and going, the sound crew had a complicated task, but they held on through the entire production.