NEW MONITOR – NEW ON STAGE
By Robert Delaney
Off-stage romances and technical glitches bedevil life on-stage and backstage for a theatrical touring company in Michael Frayn’s hilarious Noises Off, the season’s first production at Wayne State’s Bonstelle Theatre in Midtown Detroit.
The play-within-a-play that the actors are performing in, Nothing On, is a turkey, but the play about them putting on that play has been justly acclaimed “the funniest farce ever written.”
Director David J. Magidson has drawn some really fine performances from his talented, mostly undergraduate cast.
Andrick Siegmund gives an impressive performance as Lloyd Dallas, the British director who is trying to whip his cast of not-ready-for-Broadway players into shape. Siegmund is able to convincingly put across a persona well beyond his own young years, and with a British accent to boot.
The actors and actresses in the production are ably portrayed by WSU undergrads Kelli Marie Sarakun, Michael Gingerella, Jackson McLaskey, Laura Heikkinen and Mackenzie Conn, as well as veteran actor Michael Meike. The play’s on-stage production crew includes Brittany Michael and Nicholas Yocum.
Heikkinen is a very promising young actress and Conn is both talented and one of the most striking beauties in local theatre. Michael makes a very believable stage manager. Meike adds depth to the production as the drunken older actor, Selsdon Mowbray.
The on-stage and backstage mayhem of Noises Off takes place on a splendid set designed by Peter Schmidt.
This is a must-see show for anyone who enjoys raucous comedy, despite some strong language.
Those who enjoy Frayn’s with might also live his novels; “Spies” or “A Landing on the Sun” are good ones to start with.
Noises Off continues this weekend, through October 23, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, at the Bonstelle Theatre, 3424 Woodward Ave., a block south of Mack and just a few blocks south of Orchestra Hall. For ticket information, call (313) 577-2960 or go to www.bonstelle.com.