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Farce fans, take note

Bishop McLaughlin students will take ridiculousness to new heights in Noises Off.

By BARBARA FREDRICKSEN
Published March 30, 2007


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Get ready to hear lots of doors slamming and do some head scratching when the students at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School do the award-winning farce Noises Off today through Sunday.

The slamming doors happen as this farce-within-a-farce unfolds. The head scratching happens as the audience tries to figure out exactly what is going on.

And what is happening in playwright Michael Frayn's three-act comedy?

In Act 1, we see a third-rate troupe of actors rehearsing a perfectly horrid sex comedy called Nothing On. Even though opening night is upon them, the actors are still reading from their scripts, missing entrances and exits and fumbling with their costumes.

In Act 2, the two-story set is completely turned around, and we see the backstage antics of the cast and crew of Nothing On as they make their entrances and exits, squabble and carry on doomed romances.

In Act 3, the set is wheeled back around so the audience sees the troupe, by now tired of the play and squabbling both on and off the stage, actually perform Nothing On, which is still full of blunders and miscues.

The plot of Nothing On is rather obscure, but it's not important, because the real plot of Noises Off lies in the developing and unraveling relationships among the actors both on stage and behind the scenes.

There's the womanizing director Lloyd (Cal Kuenzel), who can't keep his affairs straight; the sexy bombshell Brooke (Brittany Currie), who is trying to juggle her admirers; the dithering former TV star Dotty (Casie Smithwick); the demanding Belinda (Deanna Velazquez); the confused and lovestruck Garry (Thomas Szymanski); the talkative Selsdon (Tim Capp); and the eager-to-please stagehand Poppy (Alex Gonzalez).

The cast also has Brendan Monaghan as Frederick, the star of Nothing On who trips about with his pants around his ankles, and Todd LoCasio as Tim, the Nothing On stage manager.

Director-teacher Douglas Hollander, who was a technical writer for Disney for 24 years, built the revolving two-story set.

[Last modified March 30, 2007, 00:02:19]


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