“Let me tell you about my life in the Big Apple. I have Hamlet’s ghost on the phone for an hour every evening after rehearsal complaining that Polonius is sucking sourballs through his speeches. Claudius is off every afternoon doing a soap, and Gertrude is off the entire week doing a commercial for Gallo wine.”
The laughs are nonstop when a company of second-tier actors stumble through their final rehearsal of “Nothing On,” a silly sex romp, and can’t even get through the first act without serious and hilarious problems. Cut to an actual performance, when the whole set turns around revealing the uproarious but silent backstage shenanigans as the performance staggers on despite love triangles, dementia and a well-loved flask. When their theatre world turns again, we see the actors in their last stop on the tour, when the show (and cast) are on their last legs and the backstage drama erupts in door-slamming, trouser-dropping chaos that defines farce. Playwright Michael Frayn’s comedy, established as both a classic farce and a fiendishly ingenious homage to the form, has enjoyed 3 Broadway runs.
“Once is not enough. Even twice seems inadequate. Still, no matter how many times you see “Noises Off,” you won’t get all the jokes or catch every sight gag in Michael Frayn’s rollicking 1982 backstage farce.” Variety