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MLT play’s title means ‘be quiet.’ Laughing audiences may have hard time doing that

Macon Little Theatre presents “Sweeney Todd”

"Sweeney Todd" --a veritable opera according to director Sylvia Haynie--opens July 14 at the Macon Little Theatre.
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"Sweeney Todd" --a veritable opera according to director Sylvia Haynie--opens July 14 at the Macon Little Theatre.

If you’d like your side to hurt — from laughing — this weekend or next, Bryson Holloway said you should take in Macon Little Theatre’s “Noises Off.”

“It keeps you laughing, that’s for sure,” said Hollow, the play’s director. “It’s one of the funniest, laugh-out-loud shows you’ll ever see, that’s its goal. You’ll probably laugh so hard your side will hurt — for days.”

Holloway said it’s the different personalities and how they work together on stage plus great writing and acting that makes the comedy work so well.

He said many may be familiar with the 1982 play and its 1992 movie version directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve and John Ritter, among others. But he said MLT’s version is up there with the best.

“The movie is one of the things that made me want to direct this production,” Holloway said. “When you think of that cast, you know it’s going to be funny. But as good as they were, I told our actors to go their own way and they’ve done an expert job of it. They’ve made the play hilarious in their own way. The cast is one of the most talented groups I’ve seen in Middle Georgia and many of them have appeared in productions for a number of area theater groups. And then, of course, there’s the writing.”

Holloway said Michael Frayn, writer of “Noises Off,” was already considered a genius and a very, very funny one at that, but “Noises Off” is considered his funniest work.

“It’s a British farce in three acts and a play within a play,” Holloway said. “The characters in it are actors in a production within ‘Noises Off’ called ‘Nothing On.’ In the first act, they’re shown getting ready for the play and they clearly don’t know what they’re doing. The second act shows backstage during a performance with more drama going on there between cast members than out front before the audience. The third act, well the third is where everything truly falls apart. It’s such fun for all audiences but I guess really great for people who enjoy theater or have been involved in it themselves. They’ll recognize many things though they’re blown out of proportion, for sure.”

Holloway said the show is roughly a “PG” rating due to adult themes and some language.

“Another thing I’ve particularly enjoyed about doing this production is seeing how it’s such a community effort,” Holloway said. “We owe special thanks to other Middle Georgia community theater groups and especially people like Richard Frazier of Theatre Macon who allowed us to use furniture and props they had on hand. Other groups helped with painting and putting the set together. There’s a real cooperative spirit of supporting one another these days among theater groups and I really like it.”

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

“Noises Off”

Where: Macon Little Theatre, 4220 Forsyth Road

When: 8 p.m. Sept. 6-7 and 12-14; 2:30 p.m. Sept. 8, 15

Cost: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students

Information: www.maconlittletheatre.org

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