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Rockville Little Theatre Noises Off

By • Sep 23rd, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Rockville Little Theatre’s production of Noises Off [MP3 3:28 3.2MB].

Noises Off
Rockville Little Theatre
F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, Rockville, MD
$16/$14 Students and Seniors
Through September 28th

This is the Show Biz Radio review of Noises Off performed by Rockville Little Theatre at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville, Maryland. I saw the performance on Saturday September 20, 2008.

Noises Off is a farce by Michael Frayn. The show Noises Off focuses on the behind the scene happenings of the British play Nothing On. The first act is the final dress rehearsal, the second act is behind the scenes at an actual production of the show, and then the final act is the final performance of Nothing On when the cast has had enough of their coworkers.

Overall, this was a solid production, with the cast staying focused on their roles and not getting visibly distracted by the antics of the others on stage. The laughter generated by this farce increased each act, with the final act generally not giving the audience time to catch its breath as each “disaster” played out to the performers on the “Nothing On” stage. A few actors weren’t projecting their voices loud enough, making it difficult to hear all of their lines. The performers did well in the Second Act when they were “performing” on the on-stage portion of the Nothing On set. They were still visible through the doors and window, and though their voices were muffled, you could still tell they were performing to the blank back wall of the stage. The actors were inconsistent as they were moving “backstage,” sometimes they would duck under the on-stage window, in order to hide from the audience, and sometimes they wouldn’t.

Laura Cox was very convincing as Dotty Otley and the scatter-brained Mrs. Clackett. Sasha Bratt as Garry Lejeune and Roger Tramplemain played the “helpful” actor that anyone involved with theater will instantly recognize. Nora Zanger deftly played the clueless innocent Brooke Ashton, who was playing the clueless innocent Vicki. Keith Cassidy‘s multiple roles of Frederick Fellowes, Philip Brent and the Sheik was effective, his confusion over his character’s motivation was an ongoing gag that did not grow old. Jennifer Strand as Belinda Blair/Flavia Brent had to try to pull the entire show together, and almost succeeded. And Selsdon Mowbray/the burglar, played by Michael Gilmore, was the least prepared of the Nothing On performers, but gave one of the best performances.

The Nothing On crew, director Lloyd Dallas (James McDaniel), stage manager Poppy Norton-Taylor (Lexi Smith), and stagehand Tim Allgood (Rob Allen) were a team working together trying to keep the floundering ship afloat. But when their efforts to help the team in the third act resulted in too much help, they each fell apart rather convincingly.

The Set, allowing for us to see both the front and back of the set of an English country estate, was very nice, and was designed by David Levin. Seeing the characters dance along the different platforms and levels in Act II was a treat, although it was a bit scary as they leapt between some of the raised platforms behind the upstairs doorways.

Noises Off was nearly three hours long, with two intermissions. It is playing for one more weekend, Friday and Saturday at 8, and Sunday the 28th at 2:00, at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville, Maryland.

After you’ve seen the show, feel free to leave your comments here at ShowBiz Radio.net. We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater events in the DC Region.

And now, on with the show.

Cast

  • Dotty Otley/Mrs. Clackett: Laura Cox
  • Lloyd Dallas: James McDaniel
  • Garry Lejeune/Roger Tramplemain: Sasha Bratt
  • Brooke Ashton/Vickie: Nora Zanger
  • Poppy Norton-Taylor: Lexi Smith
  • Frederick Fellowes/Philip Brent/Sheikh: Keith Cassidy
  • Belinda Blair/Flavia Brent: Jennifer Strand
  • Tim Allgood: Rob Allen
  • Selsdon Mowbray/Burglar: Michael Gilmore

Crew

  • Producer: Susanne Caviness
  • Director: Pauline Griller-Mitchell
  • Stage Manager: Diane Pick
  • Assistant Director: John Bartkowiak
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Barbara Hazlett
  • Set Design: David Levin
  • Master Carpenter: Eric Henry
  • Set Construction and Painting: Frank Adler, John Bartkowiak, Keith Cassidy, Brian Dettling, Gigi Felix, Michael Gilmore, Pauline Griller-Mitchell, Edith Guidince, Alex Henry, Eric Henry, Margie Henry, Stephen Henry, David Kaysen, David Levin, Fran Levin, James McDaniel
  • Set Dressing, Properties: Sonya Okin
  • Assistant Properties: Margie Henry
  • Lighting Design: Jim Robertson
  • Sound Design: Bill Wisniewski
  • Costumes: Joan Roseboom
  • Hair/Make-up: Maggie Skekel-Sledge
  • Dialect Coach: McCall Noelle Doyle, Sue Harrold (Isle of Man, UK)
  • Pauline Griller-Mitchell
  • Rehearsal Assistant: Gigi Felix
  • Stage Crew: Paula Cook, Gigi Felix, Eric Henry, Margie Henry, David Levin
  • Program: Annette Kalicki
  • Publicity: Elaine Hoover
  • Photographer: Dean Evangelista
  • Audition Host: Elaine Hoover
  • House Manager: Susanne Caviness
  • Concession Coordinator: Fran Levin
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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