Noises Off-Laughter On

By Beatriz Martinez

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“Everyone please take your seats, turn off your phones, and open any candy wrapper that needs to be opened. The show will now begin.” The Leap Ambassadors enthusiastically sat down inside the Erica Starr Theatre waiting for the curtains to open as they were waiting for “Noises Off” to begin. This three act play is well known for its converging perspectives that revolve around one plot. It is a “play within a play.”

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The main story consists of a theatrical group trying to put together a performance in the midst of personal drama, lovers’ quarrels, quirky characters, and a director with a god complex. During the first act, we are introduced to the different characters during the dress rehearsal of their own play “Noises On.” Just like any other dress rehearsal, there were many missed cues, missed lines, and missing (drunk) actors …”well, you know,” as Garry says. In the second act, the actual performance begins and we see the backstage perspective. The performers have been left on their own and tension is high. Mayhem runs rampant behind the scenes, and at some points even on stage. Regardless of everyone “trying” to get the show on the road, axes fly, bourbon bottles are drunk, and slaps are thrown around, making for a spectacularly silly sight to behold.

The third and final act allowed the viewers to see the final performance of “Noises On” in its full glory.

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A very short glory that is, as sardines went flying everywhere along with the actors. Doors opened and doors closed (on the characters). And sometimes they could not be opened again. But we did have to applaud their improvisation skills coupled with a great choreography. It gave the audience a big laugh as we watched their performance go from bad to worse, leaving the audience to ponder Brooke’s “Sorry?”

Noises Off, SHSU, LEAP Center, Double Double

 

As the remarkable farce ended, everyone laughed and cheered while giving the SHSU performers a standing ovation as the SHSU theater department once more gave an excellent performance.

Music & Mayhem: Damn Yankees!

Although finals week is rapidly approaching, LEAP Ambassadors were glad to have some free time to see SHSU Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre’s showing of Damn Yankees, the last production of the spring semester.

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Everyone expected Damn Yankees to be a homerun and we were not disappointed!

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Based on the book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, Damn Yankees is a musical that tells the story of 50-year old Joe Boyd.  As one of the Washington Senators’ biggest fans, he sells his soul to the devil to become the 20-year old star baseball player for the Washington Senators. After the sinful pact is made, Joe is able to accomplish his lifelong dream of beating those “damn” New York Yankees. As the plot unfolds, we discover that perhaps Joe’s selfish ambition may have overshadowed his true love for his wife.

The play incorporated many musical numbers with rich orchestration that captivated the audience members. Although each musical number was entertaining, “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO” was voted as the group’s favorite.

In this whimsical dance number, each move was choreographed so as to playfully resemble a dance off, which captured the spirit of Damn Yankees.

Of course, “Whatever Lola Wants” was also a lot of fun, and later in the week, while volunteering at the HEARTS Museum, we heard a Marilyn Monroe impersonator do the same song!

“It was my first time to attend a musical, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But it was fun!  It had comedy, with the addition of great music and dancing!”–Karla Rosales.

 

The Noise of Laughter Fills “Noises Off”

While many students take weekends off from school and learning opportunities, LEAP students took this Saturday to grow culturally by going to dinner together and attending a play in Houston. We began the evening by dining at a small cafe near our main entertainment for the evening: Cafe Express. The Cafe Express provided us with an abundance of choices ranging from flavorful salads to decadent pastas. I enjoyed their Harvest Salad, which included fresh spinach, strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, feta cheese and delicious strawberry vinaigrette dressing. While conversing about the beginning of school and classes, we got our fill of salads and pastas before the play. It was a wonderful choice as our meal before we headed down to Playhouse 1960 for the showing of “Noises Off”.

Playhouse 1960 is a non-profit community theatre that was founded in 1973 and has since been providing their community with memorable theatre productions.  “Noises Off” was very much a memorable play. The first act made it very clear to the audience that it was a play within a play, and when everyone was focused on watching the stage, we were caught off guard when we heard the voice of the director, Lloyd Dallas, shout from behind our backs. Act One is the actor’s disorganized dress rehearsal, which presented us with ditzy actors missing lines, prop malfunctions and confusion coming from the stage.

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It delivered abundant laughter in the audience. The intermission gave everyone a chance to catch their breath from the laughter.

Interestingly, the intermission also gave us the chance to see the stage machinations in action.  Unlike most theaters, much of the scenery changing occurred with open curtains.

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Act Two was a behind the scenes look at the matinee performance of “Nothing On”. This act showed the entangled romantic relationships among the cast, which led to many on-stage missteps and misspoken lines. While all of the other characters were caught in their romantic turmoil, Selsdon Mowbray (the burglar with a fondness for alcohol) provided plenty of comedic relief along with the comical actions that were taking place back stage. This act was filled with behind-the-scenes whispering and misunderstandings among the cast while they performed their play. The act ended with a cliffhanger with the announcement of a pregnancy, which left us wanting to know more.

In Act Three, the actors are on their last show of the tour. With all of the relationship mishaps between the actors, we could see the growing tensions. The tensions were resolved with the more rational actors trying their best to tie up the play. Once the play had reached a point of no return, it ended with a quick confusing wedding ceremony. The entirety of “Noises Off” had us laughing until the end.

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Afterwards we were even able to have our group picture taken with the entire cast!

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