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Noises Off Two River Theatre NJ 2
Jan 21, 2019

Noises Off at the Two River Theater 

By Lori Draz

Noises Off Two River Theatre NJ 2

Photo Credit: T Charles Erickson © T Charles Erickson Photography

Noises Off was written in 1982 by the Tony Award English playwright Michael Frayn. Described as the funniest farce ever written, this perennial play has been performed by hundreds of actors willing to put  their whole bodies into the act and the Two River Theater version is every is bit as fierce as the best of them.

The play is actually a play within a play. In Act One, the sometimes dim-witted and under rehearsed actors stumble through a bumpy technical walk through on the night before the play’s opening. There are disappearing and reappearing plates of sardines, props that don’t work, a frustrated director and tons of silliness, as the cast goes in and out of doors, forgets their lines or stops the rehearsal for clarification from the director.

In Act Two, we see the show from behind the scenes where even more mayhem breaks out as the actors reveal their personal involvements with one another and all their other hysterical weaknesses. Act Three is yet another rendition of the play where the system breaks down entirely.

Noises Off is one of the most physically demanding comedies ever staged, as these actors run up and downstairs, perform pratfall after pratfall, and move around props with the flourish of a cup and ball trickster.

Noises Off is directed by Sarna Lapine, whose credits include the acclaimed recent Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George with Jake Gyllenhaal. The cast includes Kathleen Choe (Belinda Blair), Kimiye Corwin (Poppy Norton-Taylor), Michael Crane (Garry Lejeune), Gopal Divan (Lloyd Dallas), Philip Goodwin (Selsdon Mowbray), Ellen Harvey (Dotty Otley), Adrianna Mitchell (Brooke Ashton), Jason O’Connell (Frederick Fellowes), and Phillip Taratula (Tim Allgood).

The creative team includes scenic designer Charlie Corcoran, costume designer Valérie Thérèse Bart, lighting designer Ken Billington, sound designer Karin Graybash, and wigs designer Dave Bova.

Noises Off Two River Theatre NJ

Photo Credit: T Charles Erickson
© T Charles Erickson Photography

The talented cast really deserves kudos for the aerobic workout we witness in the audience and the timing of this team of actors is spot on, despite all the craziness that never stops for a minute.

The Two River Theater has built a remarkable set that stands up to all the door-slamming and prop-swapping. It’s a fast, funny farce and a welcome bit of fun in the chilly months. Performances will continue through Sunday, February 3 in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ.