With Michael Frayn’s farcical “Noises Off!” you get two plays for the price of one:  a behind the curtain look at rehearsals as the cast runs amok trying to put on a British comedy “Nothing On” and the hilarious convoluted play where everyone seems intent on murdering or sleeping with some one  in the company.  The Hartford Stage will be busy entertaining lovers and enemies until Sunday, May 17.

    Be prepared for plates of flying sardines, appearing and disappearing bottles of whiskey, a bevy of burglars, a menacing hatchet, a hot water bottle, a cactus plant, missing door knobs, misdelivered bouquets of flowers, sex maniacs, lost contact lenses, banging doors, fist fights, tied shoelaces, tangled bed sheets, unpaid tax bills, nose bleeds, honeymooners, real estate agents, Arab sheiks and falling trousers.

    This is silliness personified and glee gloried as a director with faded charms, played by an infinitely patient and long suffering Bill Kux, tries to pull together a cast of actors who are more than slightly off the mark, in a play, that like a Jell-O mold with fresh pineapple chunks, refuses to gel. With Johanna Morrison as the ditsy housekeeper, Noble Shropshire as the alcoholic and bungling burglar, Michael Bakkensen, Liv Rooth, Andrea Cirie and David Andrew Macdonald as the cast of characters who make entrances and exits in various states of dishevelment and disarray and Veronique Hurley and Daniel Toot as the trusty backstage crew, the fun barrels along.

   A wonderful revolving set designed by Tony Straiges helps propel the action as does the timely and targeted direction by Malcolm Morrison.

    For tickets ($23-66), call Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-520-5151.  Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Sundays and selected Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m.

   Sneak a peek behind the curtain as a disorganized and mismatched British acting troupe puts on a sexy comedy show when personal and professional attachments and arguments cause hilarious havoc.

This will appear inthe Middletown Press on May 14.

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