Sunday, October 2, 2016

review - NOISES OFF - Paradise Valley Community College

Roger Alan Hunt II, Rick Davis, and Virginia Olivieri
Photo by Tiffany Marie
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)
Click here for more information on this production that runs through October 9th.

"Noises Off is the quintessential backstage comedy where everything disastrous that could go wrong when putting on a show does—and then some. While I have a few reservations with the play and a few quibbles with this production, Paradise Valley Community College has found a good cast that, under Gary Zaro's firm direction, exhibits a quick pace and provides plenty of laughs in this classic farce. The play within a play is told over three acts and set across a couple of months as the action follows the company of Nothing On, a comedy that is touring across several cities in England. ...
Playwright Michael Frayn created a fun set-up and environment in which to explore these onstage and backstage antics....While I do believe that Noises Off is a fun comical farce, I'm not that crazy about the play itself, as the story has virtually no character development or major plot elements. ...unlike a well-written farce like Lend Me a Tenor, ...there isn't much reasoning for the farcical elements in Noises Off. It's a great backstage comedy, filled with some big laughs, but not much more. That said, it does provide a great playground for gifted actors to show their comic chops. That is what is on display with this PVCC production. Under Gary Zaro's skilled direction, not only do the majority of the cast do well with the comic requirements of their characters, but they also do an exceptional job with the sheer backstage lunacy of act two...However, not all of the cast is up to the nuanced and precise requirements of the intricate choreographed staging and some of the accents are a little inconsistent though still fairly good. ...Rick Davis is flawless as Garry, the frustrated, nervous actor...Davis is both a gifted comic actor whose expressive eyes and well thought out gestures deliver plenty of laughs and a skilled physical actor whose pratfalls and other choreographed stage action seem completely natural....Roger Alan Hunt II is Lloyd, the director, who starts off as the sarcastic, level-headed but impatient dictator and then quickly becomes an agitated, exasperated, and completely annoyed lunatic...Hunt is exceptional in displaying all of these elements and his accent is superb. As the continually confused actress Dotty, Virginia Olivieri is very good. She provides an assured performance throughout, does well with the two accents she uses...and infuses her scenes with a colorful vibrancy. Her act two encounter with Davis and an axe is simply hilarious and well staged by Zaro....However, some of the supporting cast members need to watch their British accents to ensure they don't slowly creep into sounding like Americans, and they need to keep their energy level and timing in check and on point. Erik H. Reid has crafted a very good two-story, two-sided set design that allows plenty of room for the cast to let the lunacy unfold....While I may have some issues with the play itself, Noises Off still has plenty of laughs, several humorous moments and colorful, though mostly two dimensional characters. ...PVCC's production, while it has a few small hiccups, is well paced with good direction and a cast, led by a superb Rick Davis, that does a good job with the classic, door slammin', energetic, and very funny farce. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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