Noises Off

Noises Off

Noises Off

Central Florida Community Arts

“Noises Off” is nearly impossible to get right, but I am happy to announce that this production by CFCA nails it to the floor and strips it naked. If you’ve seen it somewhere else and went “Meh” then try this one. It hits all the comic timing down to the microsecond. It’s a “play with a play,” an often too, too clever concept beginning writers love to tackle and never get right. Tonight, we meet a fictious show called “Nothing On” as it struggles though technical rehearsal, never mind the dress rehearsal. We meet the dotty Dotty playing Mrs. Clackett (Humbert) as she struggles to keep her lines and props under control. She the housekeeper of a supposedly empty weekend home belonging to tax exiles Freddie (John Gracey) and Belinda (Ashleigh Ann Gardener). They drop in to visit at the risk of their deductions, and Gary (Michael Geniac) and Brooke (Danielle Irigoyen), two tax collectors arrive looking for a quick rendezvous. I’m pretty sure I got those names sorted out, but I make no promises here. Brooke’s job requires her to stand around in her undies as everyone else runs madly around and through the seven or eight doors on set. We see the tech, a mid-run show, and closing night, and in each episode the chaos grows and morphs and become funnier and funnier.

Who’s best? There’s just way to sort that out in this show. The action it too integrated, the gags take too long set up and knock down, and there no good way to explain the humor unless you see it. Ax juggling, whiskey tossing, doors slamming, all make for good laughs, as does with a washed-up drunk actor (Moughan) as he carefully blows cues left and right. Normally this show appears on a two-story set; that’s possible in the intimate CFCA Black Box. This gives us sight gags like Grant’s admonition to Brooke “You can’t come down here like that!” when she is eye to eye with him and only standing one step up a three-step staircase. Brilliant physical farce, good vocal projection and a well-matched cast make this a laff riot. Don’t miss it; the next production anyone puts up will NOT be better.

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