A happy rumble in the Jungle Theatre

“Another openin of another show”.  Friday nights opening of “Noises Off” at the Jungle Theater was one to be remembered.  In preparation for it, I had some girlfriends over for a movie night earlier in the week.  The movie hosted some great stars: Carol Burnett, John Ritter, and Christopher Reeve.  It was good, however, I had a feeling the play would be even better.  The cast at the Jungle Theater proved me right.

“Noises Off” is a farce written by Michael Frayn.  The show is split into three parts.  Much like “Kiss Me Kate”, this show is a play within a play.  The play itself takes place in a home in England where people are coming and going, clothes are being put on and taken off, and doors are opening and closing.  Act one is dress rehearsal where many lines are being dropped, props are being misused, and the cast is falling apart.  The second act opens and the set has been turned around.  It is a matinee performance and the actors and actresses are providing much more drama behind scenes then what is taking place on stage.  Act three is switched back to the front of the stage.  By this point the actors are spoofing each other.  Lines are messed up, cues are missed, pages are cut, and props are all over.

The cast was phenomenal.  In order for farce to work, timing is key.  The actors did an incredible job with delivering their lines in proper timing to make it all click.  Cheryl Willis (Dotty/Mrs. Clackett) was brilliant.  Her facial expressions made her character stand out.  E.J. Subkoviak (Lloyd) was a great director.  It was entertaining to have him in the audience, walking around, and on stage.  Kimberly Richardson (Poppy) played the meek, timid, assistant stage manager.  Her tone of voice was right on as well as her quirky moves across the stage.  Each of the cast members had their accents down pat.  They all embraced their characters well and gave stand out performances.

Having two intermissions to change the set was very smart.  It gave the audience a chance to discuss what had just happened and converse about what was up next.  Everyone was very entertained.  The laughter was contagious and I’m sure nobody left without a smile on their face.

After the show there was an opening night party.  Food was served and the audience mingled with cast members.  It was a lovely night and I would encourage anyone who enjoys laughing to go see “Noises Off” at the Jungle Theater.

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