L to R: Sitting- Hannah Pearsall, John Demetre, Jason Naylor, Ruth Lanzer, Mary Corigliano
Standing- Allan Church, Alec Bandzes, Mark Gilchrist, Terri Corigliano
Ever wonder what happens backstage before a performance? How well do the cast of characters commingle as they run their lines and rehearse? Is their jealousy and green eyed envy lurking behind the ruby curtains? Does the director have to separate the children so they learn to play fairly and share?
You are going to be privy to these questions and their surprising answers if and when you attend the classic farce “Noises Off!” by Michael Frayn, a farce to end all farces, that takes you behind the curtain and in front of it as well, thanks to the Saybrook Stage Company from Thursday, July 14 to Sunday, July 17 at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, The Kate, 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. The Saybrook Stage is a non-profit company that has already produced a dozen successful runs at The Kate.
Dedication and discipline, talent and timing are mainstays of the acting profession, A level of spirit, as in" the show must go on," is expected. What happens, you might ask, when the cast of a show, a British flop of a comedy called "Nothing On," allows their personal intrigues to interfere and sabotage their production both in front of and behind the audience? A creative chaos or a hilarious hurricane is the answer.
It’s dress rehearsal and all the last minute details should have long ago been ironed out and resolved. This time is simply the fine tuning before the big opening night. Costumes are worn, props are in place and the performers are letter perfect and flawless in their delivery. Not!
Imagine the nightmare that Lloyd, a stalwart director, experiences when plates of sardines go missing, doors either won't close or open, the actor playing the bungling burglar is off getting drunk and half the cast is having an affair with the other half. There's more intrigue going on behind the curtains than in front of it.
Look out for bottles of brandy, bedsheets, bouquets of flowers, boxes, baggage, a baby, bathmats, battle axes and blood, not to mention sheiks, sardines, sex maniacs and slamming doors. Silliness is clearly on parade, in one door and out the other, from the first moment Dotty, a dizzy and determined dame, answers the phone. The cast and crew are off and running, literally and figuratively. Martin Scott Marchitto directs this barrel of fun that quickly rolls out of control. “Noises Off” ran on Broadway in 1983 for over 550 performances and again in 2001, garnering awards each time.
For tickets ($15-20), call The Kate at 877-503-1286 or online at www.TheKate.com. Shows are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m, Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
You may never look at sardines quite the same way ever again after they go flying on stage during the hilarious havoc of "Noises Off!" where a sneak peek backstage may prove hazardous to your health but clearly not to your funny bone.