Get a look at the show behind the show in Noises Off, now playing at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre — the last production Civic will put on at their current home before moving to Marian College.
A group of actors — British ones — are putting on a farce called Nothing On. Act 1 is set during their final rehearsal. Actors are still calling for lines, props are being discussed and the director is popping Valium. While amusing, this act is a set-up. You will see the first act of Nothing On twice more, in Acts 2 and 3, when the real slapstick begins. As Nothing On progresses in its tour, the production disintegrates as the relationships between the actors become more and more sitcom-esque. Act 2 shows the action from backstage, and Act 3 shows the complete breakdown of the show from the audience’s perspective.
How funny you find the show will depend on two things: how much experience you’ve had in the theater (behind the scenes, on stage, etc.) and/or how much you like slapstick.
The large cast of Vonda Fuhrmann, Paul Greatbatch, Bill Book, Kim Ruse, Shannon Fields, Jay Meisenhelder, Karla Williams, David Wood and Tom Beeler, directed by Robert J. Sorbera, do good work with the comedy, eliciting laughs at almost every slam of a door. James O. Schumacher’s scenic design is lovely, and effectively converts to backstage for Act 2.
Noises Off is a fun divertisement for an evening or afternoon. And perhaps, the next time you are at a show, it may make you think about just what is going on back there behind those stage doors …
Noises Off continues at the Civic Theatre, located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art for now, through May 29; 923-4597.