TIP’s Crackerjack Cast Runs Wild on Stephen J. Larson’s Magnificent Reversible Multilevel Set for “Noises Off”

"Noises Off" runs through June 26th at Theatre in the Park
"Noises Off" runs through June 26th at Theatre in the Park

"Noises Off" runs through June 26th at Theatre in the Park
"Noises Off" runs through June 26th at Theatre in the Park

Raleigh, NC-based Theatre in the Park is closing its warmly applauded 2010-11 “Ah, Theatre” Season with a rollicking rendition of British playwright, screenwriter, and novelist Michael Frayn’s brilliant backstage comedy Noises Off,, staged at a gallop by director Ira David Wood IV on a magnificent reversible multilevel set by scenic and lighting designer Stephen J. Larson. Indeed, Larson’s splendid recreation of the front and back of the set for the play-within-the-play — the frantic sex farce Nothing On — is probably his best set yet.

TIP’s zany version of Noises Off also features crackerjack comic characterizations by Tony Pender as temperamental womanizing director Lloyd Dallas, Joanna V. Herath as forgetful cradle-robbing late-middle-aged actress Dotty Otley, Rob Rainbolt as Dotty’s jealous much-younger boyfriend stuttering actor Garry Lejeune, and especially Sarah Bousquet as super-sexy novice actress Brooke Ashton, who stops the show in more ways than one as she repeatedly loses her contact lenses.

Also earning hearty applause are the antics of Lauren Flynn as overly emotional assistant stage manager Poppy Norton-Taylor, George M. Kaiser as overworked stage manager Timothy Allgood, and Randall Stanton as elderly alcoholic actor Selsdon Mowbray. Staci Sabarsky sparkles as cheerful actress Belinda Blair, and Brook North is a pip as violence-averse nosebleed-prone actor Frederick Fellows.

Noises Off is a veritable three-ring circus of comedy performed in only one ring, and director Ira Wood does a commendable job of keeping the audience’s focus right where it should be, at all times.

Costume designer Shawn Stewart-Larson, properties manager Victor Rivera, and sound designer Will Mikes also deserve kudos for their sizable contributions to the merriment; but in the end its is Steve Larson’s set that provides the perfect platform for this wild-and-crazy production.

SECOND OPINION: June 15th Durham, NC Independent Weekly review by Zach Smith (who awarded the show 3.5 of 5 stars):  http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/high-energy-and-big-laughs-in-noises-off-at-theatre-in-the-park/Content?oid=2550037; and June 11th Raleigh, NC CVNC (Classical Voice of North Carolina) review by Alan R. Hall: http://cvnc.org/article.cfm?articleId=4917. (Note: To read Triangle Arts & Entertainment’s online version of the June 10th Triangle Theater Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2011/06/michael-frayns-zany-backstage-comedy-noises-off-is-performed-at-a-gallop-with-lots-of-slapstick/.)

Theatre in the Park presents NOISES OFF at 3 p.m. June 26 in the Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre, 107 Pullen Rd., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.

TICKETS: $22 ($16 students, seniors 60+, and active-duty military personnel).

BOX OFFICE: 919/831-6058 or http://www.etix.com/.

SHOW: http://theatreinthepark.com/49.html.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.theatreinthepark.com/.

DIRECTIONS/PARKING: http://www.theatreinthepark.com/directions_and_parking.html.

OTHER LINKS:

The Play: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noises_Off (Wikipedia), http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?ID=6602 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105017/ (Internet Movie Database).

The Script: http://books.google.com/ (Google Books).

A Study Guide: http://www.bard.org/education/studyguides/Noises/noises.html (Utah Shakespeare Festival).

The Playwright: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Frayn (Wikipedia), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=7726 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0292450/ (Internet Movie Database).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This review is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

To start your FREE subscription to this newsletter, e-mail RobertM748@aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TTR in the Subject: line.

To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.

By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).