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Joseph Cillo

Noises Off

By June 22, 2024No Comments

A Hilarious Night at the Novato Theater Company

I had the pleasure of attending the Novato Theater Company’s production of “Noises Off,” and it was one of the most delightful theatrical experiences I’ve had in some time. Directed by Carl Jordan, this production beautifully captures the essence of Michael Frayn’s celebrated farce, delivering an evening filled with laughter and impressive comedic timing.

The storyline of “Noises Off” revolves around a group of dysfunctional actors attempting to stage a play called “Nothing’s On.” As the rehearsal progresses, chaos ensues both onstage and off, leading to a series of hysterical mishaps involving slamming doors, falling trousers, and misplaced sardines. This “play within a play” format allows the audience to witness the behind-the-scenes antics of the cast and crew, providing a unique and side-splitting perspective on the complexities of theater production.

Heather Shepardson, in the role of Dotty/Mrs. Clackett, delivers a standout performance, masterfully juggling her dual characters with a perfect blend of charm and confusion. Mike Pavone’s portrayal of Lloyd, the volatile director, is both commanding and comically exasperated, capturing the essence of a man on the brink of a nervous breakdown as he tries to keep the production afloat.

The Cast

Diego Hardy as Gary/Roger brings dynamic energy to the stage, and Rachel Ka’iulani-Kennealy (Poppy), Jeffrey Biddle (Frederick/Philip), and Jane Harrington (Belinda/Flavia) each add their own unique flair to the ensemble, creating a well-rounded and engaging cast. However, Melody Payne’s performance as Brooke/Vicki deserves special mention. Payne was absolutely fabulous, her physical comedy and impeccable timing contributing significantly to the evening’s hilarity and making her a standout in an already exceptional cast.

Diego & Melody

One of the most entertaining recurring bits in the play involves sardines, which are mined relentlessly for comedic effect. The constant appearance and disappearance of sardines, coupled with the actors’ increasing frustration and confusion, adds an extra layer of absurdity and hilarity to the production. This running gag is a perfect example of how “Noises Off” excels at using simple props to generate complex laughter.The technical aspects of the show are equally impressive. The set design by Michael Walraven, featuring a revolving set, is a brilliant solution that allows for seamless transitions between the onstage and backstage chaos. This ingenious design adds a dynamic and engaging element to the production, enhancing the overall experience. Frank P. Sarubbi’s lighting design and the sound design by Bruce Vieira & Sound Logic, Inc. further enhance the overall production, creating an immersive and polished theatrical experience.

Special mention must be made of the crew’s efforts, with Maureen Scheuenstahl’s stage management ensuring that the complex and fast-paced nature of the play runs smoothly. The costume design by Kate Leland and Mary Weinberg perfectly captures the farcical nature of the characters, adding another layer of visual comedy to the production.

In addition to the stellar performances and technical execution, the Novato Theater Company should be commended for fostering a welcoming and engaging atmosphere. The dedication of the volunteers and the professionalism of the production team make attending their shows a truly enjoyable experience.

The Novato Theater Company’s “Noises Off” runs from June 21 to July 14, 2024, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm. An additional performance is scheduled for Thursday, July 11 at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased online through the Novato Theater Company’s website at Novato Theater Company. Don’t miss the chance to see this hilarious and brilliantly executed production.

G0 See
The Novato Theater Company’s “Noises Off” is a must-see production that delivers non-stop laughter and brilliant performances. It is a testament to the skill and dedication of everyone involved, and I highly recommend catching one of the remaining performances if you can. Bravo to the entire cast and crew for a night of unforgettable comedy!