|Theatre Workshop of Nantucket just wrapped its three week run of the British farce, “Noises Off.” The production, featuring a brilliant cast and crew of local talent, was met with rave reviews. I had the privilege to be in the audience at Bennett Hall on opening night and I must say it was an incredibly fun way to spend a Friday evening. I’ve been to several of TWN’s productions in the past and have never been disappointed, but this show (which is really a “show within a show”) with its energetic storyline, revolving sets and pristine timing was a home run for the island theater company.With so many quick scene changes – characters entering and exiting, doors opening and closing – it was obvious how physically challenging the production was for the cast (I got a bit winded just watching it all!) As the story unfolded, the audience was given hints there were some “behind the scenes” scenarios playing out that were impacting the performance. In Act 2, the set literally did a 180 rotation, inviting the audience into the private “backstage” world of the production, complete with all its maladies and challenges. This is where the show went from funny and entertaining to downright “gut busting” hilarious. As the comedy of errors played out backstage and the characters took their turns being thrust through the revolving doors so the “show could go on” I found myself both feeling the characters pain and rooting for their success as they attempted to hold it together.This show – “Noises Off” – as much as it’s a farce and an entertaining comedic stage show – is also actually a parody of real life….especially on a tourist island like Nantucket. Right now the island is busy working fervently to prepare its summer “production” for island guests. Restaurant managers are perfecting their menu items, shop owners are putting the final touches on their window displays and innkeepers and homeowners are scrambling to make sure every detail is attended to so their summer tenants will be delighted upon arrival. I’m always in awe watching the “backstage” flurry of activity this time of year….and I remain in awe each time I arrive at a rental home for a tenant check-in. As I look around the homes, I’m reminded that none of the preparation happens by accident. The cleaning crews, landscapers, property managers, real estate agents and owners all work together like a synchronized swim team to ensure that each home is turned over and “tenant ready” each week. Just like in “Noises Off” every now and then there are unexpected backstage blunders that threaten to interrupt the audience enjoyment. A few phone calls, some flexibility, ingenuity and great teamwork and virtually every challenge is overcome. The show, indeed, must go on.
As the curtain rises on your Nantucket experience this summer, be sure to include one of the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket productions in your itinerary. When you arrive at your summer accommodations, take a moment to reflect on all the backstage preparations involved in setting the stage for your ideal vacation. Invite your personal cast and crew to gather around the dining table, utilize the props at hand (a board game, some videos or an old fashioned game of cards) and enjoy the show.
Break a leg!