Noises Off, directed by Don Toner and playing at the Austin Playhouse through May 26,
is a delightful, thoroughly entertaining show that you do not want to miss! Although Austin Playhouse is known to put on a good
The story revolves around a traveling troupe of actors who are having a final rehearsal on the eve of the show’s opening. To say they are not ready for opening night in any sense of the word would be kind. They appear to be on track to stage the worst production ever seen by man or beast. Actors can’t remember their lines or blocking or cues; they enter and exit at the wrong time or not at all. The ensuing chaos is hilariously funny. But the chaos is so well choreographed and executed that it delights and amazes.
Bernadette Nason gives a delightful performance as the inept Cockney maid who can’t remember her lines or her props or much of anything else. David Stahl is always excellent, but his portrayal of a director whose eleventh-hour efforts to resuscitate a flailing flop are funny, funny, funny. The entire cast gives new meaning to the phrase timing is everything. Actors are entering and exiting with lightning speed and grace and their timing is just amazing.
The production values are excellent: lighting, sound, set design, costuming, but something special must be said for the Set design and construction for this production. Not only is the set well thought and appropriate for the show, but during intermission, it is disassembled turned around backwards only to be reassembled in its original state for the final act. The coordination and execution of this task shows what a “professional” and accomplished team Austin Playhouse has “assembled.”
This play in the hands of a less capable director and less talented cast could be a tiresome yawn, but the Austin Playhouse production crackles with electricity.
Noises Off runs Thursday – Sunday through May 26, 2013, at the Austin Playhouse theatre at Highland Mall, 6001 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX78752. Performances are Thursday – Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 5:00 pm
Tickets are $28 – $30. Student tickets are half-price. For tickets and information, please visit www.austinplayhouse.com