Anyone familiar with theater knows that a flubbed line or misplaced prop has the potential to stop a show in its tracks.
It’s these mistakes — a dropped contact lens, a misplaced plate of sardines and tied-together shoelaces, to name a few — that make PlayMakers Repertory Company’s rendition of “Noises Off” a fast-paced and technically complex success that shines with expert choreography and near-flawless execution.
In the first act of Michael Frayn’s play-within-a-play, we meet a troupe of sub-par actors rehearsing for a door-slamming sex farce, “Nothing On.” The director, played with delightful cynicism by Jeffrey Blair Cornell, sits among the audience, calling down orders as his actors miss their entrances, question their characters’ motivations and forget their lines hours before opening night.
The rhythm feels a bit hit-or-miss as we watch “Nothing On” fall to pieces for the first time, but it provides a successful introduction to the eccentric cast of characters who truly come to life in the second act.
Susan Cella wonderfully plays the ever-forgetful Dotty as she searches for her misplaced plate of sardines.