Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

'Noises Off' farce opens next Thursday


March 21, 2019

Mark Zeiger can't keep his pants up in the first act of "Noises Off." The show opens Thursday, March 28 on the Chilkat Center stage. Zeiger plays Philip Brent and the dim witted Freddie Fellowes. Jenna Kunze photo.

A realized dream for both director and cast members will come to the Chilkat Center stage next week.

"Noises Off," a 1982 three-act British sex farce written by Michael Frayn, will show March 28, 29, 30 and 31.

The performance features a play-within-a-play, performed on a rotating set that changes perspective between acts. Act One opens with the unprepared cast of "Nothing On," the play within the play, rehearsing. The act-within-the-act opens with Roger Tramplemain (played by Kyle Clayton), an estate agent, escorting Vicki (played by Sara Ciaverelli) for an illicit encounter into a client's house that he passes off as his own. Unbeknownst to Vicki and Roger, the maid (played by Margaret Sebens) is also home, and the real owners, Philip and Flavia Brent (played by Mark Zeiger and Cheryl Mullins) arrive shortly thereafter. Soon revealed are the love triangles, mistaken identities, jealous rages and "paranormal activities" that weave in and out of the play and the play-within-a-play as the performance ensues.

Cast also includes Jono Greene, Jim Robinson, Michaela Chambers and Gina Randles.

Because of the complexity of a 180-degree rotating set and heavy stage direction for the ensemble, Director Tod Sebens said that he's kept the play on his shelf untouched for 13 years. "It was such a daunting undertaking," he said.

But this year, a capable ensemble cast of nine actors and a savvy crew aligned, and Sebens said after about 15 years of directing exclusively 'dramadies,' a combination of drama and comedy, he's hooked on comedies.

"I've never seen a funnier play," agreed Robinson, who plays Lloyd Dallas, the director of "Nothing On." Robinson has been dreaming about acting in this play for more than a decade.

"I saw the movie back in the early '90s. I've had a lot of desire to want to do this play for a long time," he said. "It was touted as being the funniest farce every written."

Ciaverelli, portraying the inexperienced actress Brooke Ashton who plays Vicki, said the situational humor of acting out a play within a play made the rehearsals "extra enjoyable."

"The same exact things that are shown within the script to be funny create the same questions from the cast to the real director," Ciaverelli said.

She said it's rare to find a core group of character actors in a small mountain town.

"Noises Off" includes mishaps backstage and slapstick humor, cast members said. "If (locals are) going to go to any play they really really should come to this one," Sebens said. "They'll laugh. I know they will. I guarantee it."

Sebens warns that the show is rated PG13 for sexual themes. Several actors lose their pants .

The performance will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and end with a 2 p.m. matinee show on Sunday. Tickets are $40 for families, $15 per adult and $8 per student and will be sold at the door or ahead of time at The Moosterious Emporium.


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