PlayMakers' Noises Off provides a peek behind the curtain | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

PlayMakers' Noises Off provides a peek behind the curtain 

From left: Ray Dooley, Katie Paxton, Andrea Cirie, Scott Ripley, Matthew Schneck and Susan Cella in PlayMakers' Rep's "Noises Off"

Photo by Jon Gardiner

From left: Ray Dooley, Katie Paxton, Andrea Cirie, Scott Ripley, Matthew Schneck and Susan Cella in PlayMakers' Rep's "Noises Off"

Noises Off is an amusing enough collection of theatrical conundrums: a sendup of that hoary British genre, the low-grade sex farce, that morphs into a low-grade sex farce in its own right as it none too gently lifts the curtain on the backstage interpersonal intrigues common enough to theater productions small and large.

Yes, accords and misunderstandings occasionally make the drama offstage even more compelling than the one before the audience. And we've heard some circles award a level of gamesmanship to pranksters who challenge others to keep their misdeeds out of the public eye; Joe Orton isn't the only stage artist whose theatrical goals have basically boiled down to "getting away with it."

Though it's criminal to give away too much of the game here, suffice it to say that over playwright Michael Frayn's three acts, we ultimately see the consequences of such contretemps from both sides of the proscenium during a uniquely doomed theatrical tour. As the evening develops, everything from mild flirtations to blood grudges are pursued with less and less subtlety. Few things telegraph creative differences quite like the business end of an axe.

Under Michael Michetti's direction, this genial cast evokes most of the usual theatrical suspects, including Katie Paxton's oblivious sexpot ingenue, Matthew Schneck's relentlessly inarticulate romantic lead, and a vivid Andrea Cirie as the source on all the latest gossip.

Stealing scenes, to no one's surprise: Ray Dooley's ancient, incorrigible boozehound and Kelsey Didion's hilariously heartbroken stage manager. At times they, and we, get lost in Frayn's backstage-front maze of a script, but you may be laughing too much to notice. Noises Off is little more than stock characters and clockwork, but it's diverting nonetheless.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Casting calls."

  • Few things telegraph creative differences quite like the business end of an axe.

Related Locations

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Great review! Fans of Decision Height and the Women's Theatre Festival may also want to check out The ArtsCenter's interview …

by The ArtsCenter on Superheroines Historical and Fantastical Power Two Memorable Women's Theatre Festival Shows (Theater)

Four of our friends accompanied us to this production. We have seen other Wendy Ward productions and loved them all …

by Gann Watson on Embark on a Timely Voyage Into Immigration Issues in I Wish You a Boat (Theater)

Thanks for the correction, Dustin. The playbill listed the wrong actor in the role.

by Byron Woods, INDY Theater and Dance Critic on Evaluating Bare Theatre's Experiment in Free Public Shakespeare on the Eve of Its Final Show (Theater)

The actor who portrays Proteus is Matt Fields.

by dkbritt85 on Evaluating Bare Theatre's Experiment in Free Public Shakespeare on the Eve of Its Final Show (Theater)

Added the website to the story, thanks for that.

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on The Triangle’s First Women’s Theatre Festival Takes Aim at Issues of Gender Parity (Theater)

Comments

Great review! Fans of Decision Height and the Women's Theatre Festival may also want to check out The ArtsCenter's interview …

by The ArtsCenter on Superheroines Historical and Fantastical Power Two Memorable Women's Theatre Festival Shows (Theater)

Four of our friends accompanied us to this production. We have seen other Wendy Ward productions and loved them all …

by Gann Watson on Embark on a Timely Voyage Into Immigration Issues in I Wish You a Boat (Theater)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation