‘Noises Off’: A farce that isn’t forced

With a stellar cast, the Anaheim Stage Door Repertory Theatre’s production of “Noises Off” hardly gives audiences a chance to catch their breathe in between laughs while putting on a great show that will last for a long time in their memory bank.
The theatre’s opening weekend featured laughter and plenty of enjoyment as the cast bungled (on purpose) its way through Michael Frayn’s most famous farce.
Led by actor Glenn Freeze portraying Lloyd, the director of the play within the play, the opening scene instantly received laughter from the audience which didn’t cease until the curtains closed (really lights out because there isn’t a curtain).
Hilarity ensues when the obeying but slow Mrs. Clackett, played by Rose London, constantly forgets what she has to do going back and forth with her memorable plate of sardines in hand while Freeze yells at directions at her during their play’s final rehearsal.
During the dress rehearsal, all of the characters are introduced and they equally bring their own type of humorous  presence to the stage with their  unforgettable bits which includes  mostly abnormal actions.
Brittany Layne, who  plays the stereotypical blonde, Brooke,  is committed to her character so much she never breaks it, even when her cast mates like Steven Linhares as Garry constantly challenges the stage direction of the play.
Layne, hands down, plays the funniest character of the show and add in the fact she played the role most of the time in her underwear made her performance more of a joy to watch.
Philip Brent, played by David Sakach, along with his wife Flavia, played by Autunn Browne, make a surprise visit to their house, which unknown to them already being occupied Brooke, Garry, and watched over by Mrs. Clackett , but in an effort to avoid paying taxes live in another country and want to keep their sojourn discreet.
John S. Francis plays a drunk named Selsdon who always shows up at the wrong time during rehearsal. When he is actually present, he is always intoxicated or is not aware of what is going on.
Selsdon’s character is notorious for breaking into the Brent’s home and assuming that the house is vacant.
Sakach’s character had a hilarious bit that never got old, he’s afraid of violence so at any sign of it he immediately gets a nosebleed.
After the rehearsal the audience is shown how the amusing cast interact with each other back stage of one of their road shows, here is where the laughs pile up because more about the characters is revealed.
Everything begins to get interesting when it is noticeable who is fooling around with who.
The play gets racy when most of the characters appear in their underwear.
The best underpants moment is a result of when Francis as Selsdon sneaks off with one of his liquor bottles and comes back from spending time on the toilet.
The fact the play is set in England,  some of the jokes and gestures were hard to catch but on the other hand their dialect made some of the punchlines even funnier.
Nick Charles directs the play with great farcical style and the play never stops running and running.  It is one laught after another.
One of the highlights is the theater itself.  Just 50 seats and the audience is right in the action.
The surprise of the play came from Kyle Seitz as Tim Algood and Jennifer Whitney as Poppy, both in small roles but they were equally important to the plot, one of which is even part of a hilarious love triangle with the other characters.
So ditch the night in front of the television and enjoy live theater with “Noises Off” at the Stage Door Repertory located at1045 N Armando St. Anaheim.
There are two more weekends to catch the show. Fridays and Saturdays starting at 8 p.m, and Sept. 22 at 2 p.m.
Tickets cost $20 for general admission and $17 for seniors, students and military. For tickets, call 714-630-7378.