Sierra Repertory Theatre opens its first Fallon House show of the year with Noises Off, praised as the “funniest comedy ever written” by the New York Post and often acclaimed as the comedy by which all other comedies are compared. The play opens Friday, April 14 in Columbia State Historic Park with a month-long run.
Noises Off is a comical romp that follows a cast, crew and their director through their misadventures, miscommunications and misbehaviors on stage and behind the scenes. The play takes its title from the theatrical stage direction, “noises off,” indicating sounds coming from back stage. Playwright Michael Frayn was inspired to write this play within a play while watching one of his farcical productions from backstage. The original Noises Off premiered in London in 1982 and has traveled the world many times since. Its most recent Broadway revival opened in January 2016 and was nominated for the 2016 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.
The comedy is no stranger at Sierra Repertory Theatre. It debuted in the 1987 season with revivals in 1991 and 2001. It will be the final production that SRT co-founder and Producing Director Dennis Jones brings to life on stage prior to his retirement in July of this year. Jones also designed the complex set that breaks apart to take the audience to the backstage antics.
For Jones, directing Noises Off is a return to a production he calls an affectionate favorite.
“It is a production that transports an audience to a better place through comedy,” he said.
Jones recalled that many times, while watching from the wings, he would see whole audiences rock forward in unison with laughter, and that is what he would like to create again for the 2017 Fallon House production. Helping him achieve that goal is a cast of new and returning actors. Becky Saunders reprises her 2001 role of the ever-forgetful Dotty Otley/Mrs. Clakett. Joining Saunders in Noises Off is Louis Lotorto as Frederick Fellowes/Phillip Brent. The cast also includes Francesca Manzi (Unnecessary Farce), Mark Poppleton (My Fair Lady and Cyrano), Timothy Portnoy (Cyrano), Zoe Swenson-Graham (fight choreographer for Cyrano), company actor Ty Smith, and newcomers Jennifer Kranz and Ross Hellwig.
Noises Off (rated PG) opens April 14 and runs through May 14 at SRT’s Fallon House Theatre in Columbia State Historic Park. Performances are offered Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, and some Thursdays at 2 p.m., and Friday and Saturday and some Thursdays at 7 p.m. A special Talk Back Q&A will be held after the May 11 performance. Ticket prices range from $32 to $37 with senior, student and rush ticket discounts available. For tickets and information visit www.sierrarep.org or call the Box Office at 209-532-3120.