Called by many the “funniest farce ever written”, Noises Off returns to Venice Theatre’s MainStage Jan. 12-31, 2016
Dec. 18, 2015
(Venice, Florida) After its nearly sold-out run of Hair, Venice Theatre is preparing its next MainStage production, Michael Frayn’s Noises Off. Directed by James Alexander Bond, the comedy will open Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 with performances through Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $29 for adults, $15 for college students, $13 for children and are on sale now at the theatre’s box office located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. in Venice. Tickets are available online at www.venicestage.com or by phone at 941-488-1115. Special rates are available for groups of 20 or more. Gulf Coast Community Foundation has generously sponsored Venice Theatre’s 2015-2016 MainStage Series.
Called by more than one critic, many actors and several of Venice Theatre’s directors, “the funniest farce ever written,” Noises Off (the title comes from a theatre term that indicates there is sound coming from offstage) presents a motley crew of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called Nothing’s On. Slamming doors, on-and-off-stage romantic intrigue, confused actors and a plate of sardines all figure in the plot of this laugh-out-loud, classically comic play.
Michael Frayn was inspired to write Noises Off after watching one of his earlier plays from the wings. He said, “It was funnier from behind than in front and I thought that one day I must write a farce from behind.” His idea for a show-within-a-show was a good one and became a 1982 West End hit. The show moved to Broadway a year later where it garnered three Tony nominations and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble. A well-oiled ensemble that can perform backwards and forward shifting seamlessly between their characters and their characters’ characters is absolutely necessary to pull off the script.
Venice Theatre Guest Director James Alexander Bond and his experienced team are up to the task. In fact, Venice Theatre has done the show twice before. This is the third time since 1986 that Venice Theatre has produced Noises Off. When asked why the theatre would do it again, Producing Director Allan Kollar simply said, “It’s hilarious.” So hilarious that he decided he’d have more fun being in the show again than directing it. He’ll be joined on stage by his son Charles in the role his dad played 30 years ago.
Heather Forte is another Noises Off veteran. She is reprising the role of Brooke, the scantily-clad ditzy actress who’s always losing her contact lenses among other things. When Forte played the part in 2000 Chip Ludlow of the Venice Gondolier called her “wickedly funny.” He also wrote that Noises Off, “brings tears of laughter to our eyes to brighten our day”
When Venice Theatre first introduced it to audiences in 1986, Judy Huskey of the Herald-Tribune called Noises Off, “Hilarious, one of VLT’s finest moments.”
Venice isn’t the only place that thinks Noises Off is funny enough to bring back. The Broadway revival opens January 14, but the drive is shorter and tickets are less expensive at Venice Theatre.
Again, tickets for Noises Off and all Venice Theatre shows and events through June 2016 are available at the box office at 941-488-1115 or online at www.venicestage.com. Venice Theatre is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. on the island in Venice. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, and one hour before performances.
By Michael Frayn
Director: James Alexander Bond
Stage Manager: Jim Podewitz
Scenic Designer: Tim Wisgerhof
Lighting Designer: John Andzulis
Costume Designer: Chelsea Sorensen
Sound Designers: Dorian Boyd and Jaclyn Ledoux
Dotty Otley: Cheryl Andrews
Lloyd Dallas: Allan Kollar
Garry Lejeune: Matt McClure
Brooke Ashton: Heather Forte
Poppy Norton-Taylor: Nicole Cunningham
Frederick Fellows: Jeremy Guerrero
Belinda Blair: Alison Prouty
Tim Allgood: Charles Kollar
Selsdon Mowbray: Neil Kasanofsky
About Venice Theatre
Venice Theatre is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a dramatic impact on all stages of life. The second-largest of 10,000 community theatres in the United States, it is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. in Venice, FL. Its MainStage offers seating for 432 patrons and features musicals, plays, concerts and special events. Its Yvonne Pinkerton Theatre seats 90 patrons and is home to the theatre’s “Generations,” Stage II and Cabaret Series. In addition to providing entertainment to the community, Venice Theatre offers a wide range of education and outreach programs for children and adults.