by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you are looking for a show that will have you laughing all the way through, check out Noises Off on stage at the Reedley Opera House, presented by the River City Theater Co., until May 12.Noises Off is set at the rehearsal and performance of a play, and even gives you a look at behind the scenes during a performance. During the rehearsal of the show, you are introduced to the members of a touring theatre company and all of their individual issues and hang-ups. You have a veteran actor and alcoholic named Selsdon Mowbray (Matt Wiebe); an actor who keeps stopping rehearsal because he needs to know his motivation named Frederick Fellowes (Charlton Hughes); an aging actress named Dotty Otley (Tidy Gill) who is involved with the leading man and who keeps forgetting her lines and her sardines (you will get it when you see the show-it’s a hilarious bit that runs all the way through); a leading man named Garry Lejuene (Eric Bailey) who says ‘you know’ a lot when he gets flustered; a director named Lloyd Dallas (Joe Harding) who is romancing more than one member of their company; a somewhat ditzy ingénue named Brooke Ashton (Bethany Houghton); another actress named Belinda Blair (Stephanie Barnett) who is always trying to keep the peace and is very protective of Frederick; and two very busy members of the crew–Poppy Norton (Cyndle Cee) and Tim Allgood (Larry Ham), who are also acting as understudies.
English playwright Michael Frayn, who wrote Noises Off, is said to have gotten the idea for the show while watching a show from backstage and thinking that it was funnier to watch from backstage than the front.
This is a fast paced and hilarious show with a lot of physical comedy and a lot of running around for the actors-also a lot of opening and closing of doors. I think my favorite part is when the set is changed around and we are seeing things from backstage–while the show is of course over the top for comedic reasons, it is also somewhat realistic when it comes to how crazy it can become backstage without the audience ever having a clue. Everyone in this show did a fantastic job–you will not only find yourself laughing all the way through, but you may even find yourself out of breath in sympathy with the actors who get a thorough workout during this show.
If you enjoy a good laugh, and are looking for an escape from life for a couple of hours, don’t miss Noises Off–you will laugh so hard your sides will ache! This fun show runs through May 12. Reedley’s River City Theatre Company is located at 1720 10th Street, Reedley. For further information and to purchase tickets you can go to their website, or call 559-638-6500 or 866-977-6500.
You can find more theatre articles, and other entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section. Also, watch for our new mystery podcast coming soon which will feature the voices of local actors-including Cyndle Cee and Stephanie Barnett.