Noises OFF Chico E-R Preview

Chico Theater Company presents “Noises Off”

Written in 1982 by English playwright Michael Frayn, the three-act play takes its title from the theatrical stage direction indicating sounds coming from offstage. “‘Noises Off’ is a hilarious show within a show with plenty of comedic wit and funny antics,” smiled CTC director Beau Cash. He is assisted by Meghan Radcliff, with Elizabeth Rhodes as costumer, John Davis as stage manager, and Marc Edson producer.

Cash, who also designed the sets, explained, “The set design has been an intriguing adventure since the entire set revolves between Act 1 and 2, so the audience can see the backstage craziness. “Be prepared to laugh and laugh often,” he said, “as the cast incorporates doors, bags, boxes, phones, police, sheets and sardines.”

Each of the three acts of “Noises Off” contains a performance of the first act of a play within a play, a sex farce called “Nothing On.” Act 1 is set at the theater technical rehearsal. It is midnight and the acts are hopelessly unready for the opening night. They drive director, Lloyd Dallas (Matt Taylor), into a seething rage several times during the play run. Act 2 shows a matinee performance a month after where the play is seen from backstage. It is a chaotic mess of love triangles and trampled egos. Act 3 shows a performance near the end of the 10-week run. So many problems have taken place, the cast tries to cover up the mounting chaos.

The excellent Chico Theater Company “Noises Off” cast perform double roles as they perform both backstage and onstage. Sandy Huseth is Dolly Otley, a television star and one of the play’s principal investors. She is dating the play’s leading man, Garry Lejeune, performed by Chris Murphy. Kaitlin Tracy portrays Brooke Ashton, an inexperienced actress from London. Andy Hafer plays Frederick Fellowes, a dim-witted actor. Lindsey Rasmussen is Belinda Blair, the company’s peacemaker. David Bristow plays Selsdon Mowbray, a career actor with a drinking problem. Dustin Kane is Tim Allgood, the stage manager, while Kaileen Johnson portrays Poppy Norton, his assistant.

The comedy emerges as each character’s flaws play off each other offstage to undermine onstage performance, with a great deal slapstick.

Tickets cost $18 general, $16 seniors (65 and older), $15 youth (15 and under). For purchase and information, call CTC at 894-3282 or go online at wwww.chicotheatercompany.com.