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PUBLISHED: 4:37 PM on Wednesday, November 8, 2006
British farce 'Noises Off' hits the mark about the making of a comedy

Photo by Amanda Gragert
  Characters of Brandon Demery, from left, Joyce Parry Moore and Kyle Manning take a moment "backstage" in the comedy "Noises Off."
It's all in the timing and consistency for Perseverance Theatre Company members who are performing a play about a company attempting to perform a play. "Noises Off" by Michael Frayn is directed by Keith Baxter and follows a British acting company attempting to complete its last technical rehearsal the night before the opening performance. Anything that can go wrong does both on stage and off in the farce.

"It's a curious hybrid. It's a farce that plays homage to the kind of English farce that's familiar to an English audience," said Baxter, a Broadway and West End actor and director from England.

"The plays are idiotic but very funny - a lot about boobs and bums. That was a staple part of plays back then - the 50s and 60s. They were full of wonderfully corny lines and corny situations.

"What Michael Frayn has done is a homage to those kind of plays and that kind of theater that has disappeared."

Company member Flordelino Lagundino said working with Baxter on the show is beneficial because of his experience with the genre.

"It's been great having him here because he's been doing this for a while," Lagundino said.

"That's going to be a delight for the audience and hopefully will translate into laughs."


Photo by Amanda Gragert
  Actors playing company members performing a comedy find themselves in a variety of situations on stage and off in "Noises Off," which shows through Dec. 10 at Perseverance Theatre."
Baxter said the challenge of the play is how technical it is.

"Things are going on all over the place. We have to make sure that everyone sees everything," Baxter said.

"It's like the man who plays the triangle in a symphony and waits all night for that one 'ding' and to pull focus on that."

Laguandino said it is important for the actors to work together to make sure each scene plays out accordingly.

"It's a comedy and if things aren't funny it's going to be deadly," Lagundino said.

"It's all about working with the people on stage. Everyone is very nice and giving and it's nice in that respect."

Company member Ryan Conarro said each rehearsal requires much from each actor.

"It's a very physical and verbal comedy, which requires a lot of technique and that we're very specific," Conarro said.

"Rehearsals can be tedious, but the result is a lot of fun and hopefully very funny."

In the play each actor portrays an actor who portrays another character, which can lead to some confusion and humorous situations.

"It's very funny sometimes and it makes for some humorous moments. We've found in rehearsal that a lot of this is true - mostly keeping track of props and seeing actors play a role and then drop character as soon as they come off stage. There is this third layer where Juneau actors do that themselves," Conarro said.

"I just hope I'm never involved in a company with as much drama as these characters we are playing deal with."

"Noises Off" starts Wednesday, Nov. 8 and runs through Dec. 10.


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