If I was reviewing “Nothing On,” the show within the show of Noises Off, I would tell readers not to waste their time with this mess of a play. The actors are constantly missing their cues, flubbing their lines and one actor is so amateurish that it’s painful to watch her. The house managers can’t get their acts together and you have to wonder who directed this train wreck.
But since this review if of Noises Off, I recommend that you rush to the theater to see this hysterical revival starring a stellar group of actors playing a less than stellar group of actors. The play unfolds in three parts — the first a rehearsal for “Nothing On,” the second backstage at the mock play, and in the third act we get to be audience members at “Nothing On” and get to see everything gloriously fall apart. Noises Off unfolds at breakneck speed with carefully choreographed carelessness. The incomparable Andrea Martin plays the female lead who has problems with a plate of sardines, Megan Hilty is the wonderfully wooden ingenue who can’t act and definitely can’t improvise and other stand-outs include Daniel Davis and Jeremy Shamos.
The play’s director, Jeremy Herrin, gets the whole range of emotions and impeccable comic timing from his actors and the set designer, Derek McLane, must’ve had a grand time with a set that employs slamming and stuck doors, a dangerous staircase and the aforementioned plate of sardine. My only complaint about this play — toward the end the audience was laughing so hard that we couldn’t hear some of the lines (even though we had heard them in different settings before). Every comedy should have this problem. AFW
American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42 Street
Ticket prices: $67-$152
Discount tickets:: Broadwaybox.com through 3/9
Running time: 2 hours and 25 minutes with one intermission
Runs thru: March 13, 2016