Nashville Arts Critic Review: Noises Off
Nashville Rep’s ‘Noises Off’ lifts theatrical curtain revealing hijinks on and off the stage; at TPAC’s Johnson Hall through November 5
by Jonathan Pinkerton
Nashville Repertory Theatre lifts the curtain to expose laughter and mayhem behind the scenes in “Noises Off”
“Noises Off”, Nashville Repertory Theatre‘s current offering, onstage at TPAC’s Johnson Theatre through Saturday, November 5, gets its title from the backstage theatre direction equivalent to a movie soundstage’s “quiet on the set”. “Noises Off” employs the clever twist of going behind the scenes of a theatrical production to reveal the interpersonal relationships of the actors of a fictional play called “Nothing On”.
Presented in three acts, which the playbill indicates are all Act One, the audience is first invited to spy on a late-night final-dress rehearsal of “Nothing On”, in which half a dozen characters unknowingly end up at the same supposed vacant house for what they think will be a quiet, uneventful weekend. The rest of the plot of the show-within-the-show doesn’t really matter as the audience never gets to see what happens beyond the first act.
During the first of two intermissions, the house set–beautifully designed by Gary C. Hoff with such attention to detail, you could live there–rotates to reveal the backstage illusion-busting wooden facade of the set, a visual hint of the next Act One’s behind-the-scenes action, in which the audience is privy to backstage antics as relationships between the actors begin to unravel during a matinee performance about a month into the show’s run.