NOISES OFF AND RUNNING
For the past few years, I have been going to see shows at the Fine Arts Center Theatre in Colorado Springs. I've seen dramas, comedies, musicals, even a one act that was stage in the museum section of the center- the excellent Lovers Leapt by Leslie Bramm directed by Artistic Director Scott Levy. And every show has been an outstanding piece of theatre. Noises Off, now playing at the FAC, is no exception. It's hilarious, fast paced, and makes you happy to be alive. This production also proves, yet again, that the most consistently excellent professional theatre in Colorado is at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs.
Noises Off is a farce written by super-genius Michael Frayn. It's about a traveling theatre company putting on a farce, and is done in three acts, and from two perspectives. Act one is the final technical rehearsal, and is seen from the point of view of someone sitting in the audience during rehearsal. Act two takes place during a performance of the play, and is seen from the perspective of backstage (complete with the set rotating 180 degrees. Act Three takes place during a particularly disastrous performance, and is again seen from the perspective of someone sitting in the audience. I'm not sure if the play is a lover letter or an indictment to the madness of putting on a show- but either way, it's a delight. To me, what makes this play so funny is how seriously the characters take themselves while they do the most ridiculous things. While the characters and plot may seem absurd to some, they are very, very familiar people and situations to anyone who has ever been in a play.
The show is directed at a break neck pace by Cory Moosman. Farce is considered the hardest form of theatre- but you wouldn't know it from this production. Every move, comic bit, and complicated piece of dialogue is made to seem effortless by the outstanding cast. They are all magnificent, so I will name them all here: Birgitta DePree (Dotty Otley), Sammie Joe Kinnett (Lloyd Dallas), Scott Bellot (Garry Lejeune), Shanna Brock (Brooke Ashton), Joye Cook-Levy (Poppy Norton-Taylor), Max Ferguson (Frederick Fellowes), Casiena Raether (Belinda Blair), Sammy Gleason (Tim Allgood), Michael Miller (Selsdon Mowbray). Equally brilliant and deserving of recognition is the design team. The sound, costumes, props, and in particular set are stunning. They too deserve kudos, and they are: Christopher L. Sheley (Scenic Design), Holly Anne Rawls (Lighting Designer), by Janson Fangio (Costume Designer), Kaetlyn Springer (Properties Designer).
I particularly enjoyed this show because tonight I am opening a production of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying at StageDoor theatre in Conifer- and many of the antics, frustrations, and joys brought to life in Noises Off have been, and continue to ring so true to me as I work with all these brilliant and insane young actors.
I hope you all get a chance to see both Noises Off and How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. Until then, may the force be with you.