Tonight is premiere night in the Valley.
First, the Valley Repertory Theatre opens its season with “Noises Off,” a backstage farce by Michael Frayn.
If you’ve never seen “Noises Off,” you owe it to yourself to go.
Frayn has constructed an ingenious piece of comic architecture. In the first act, we see an inept British acting troupe rehearsing a silly bedroom farce called “Nothing On.” In the second act, we see the troupe performing the play for the first time, but we see it only from the vantage point of the backstage chaos. In the third act, we see the the disastrous final performance, this time from the audience’s point of view.
If done right, this play is an absolute scream. One professional performance I saw of this play was one of the funniest two hours I have ever spent in a theater.
With its incredible demands for comic timing and precise slapstick choreography, it is a demanding and complicated show to do. The Valley Rep’s production is in the experienced hands of Alice Quinn, the Rep’s executive director.
The show opens tonight and continues Saturday, Sunday, Sept. 28-30, Oct. 1 and Oct. 5-7. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., Thursday shows are at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $8, $7 for seniors and $6 for students. Call 927-6878.
The second premiere tonight is at the Valley’s other community theater, The ACT.
It, too, is opening the season with a proven laugh-getter.
“The Nerd” is one of three wildly successful comedies that Larry Shue wrote before his death in an airplane crash in 1985. It’s about an oddball fellow (a nerd, of course) who shows up to visit an old buddy. The visit upsets the friend a great deal, for reasons that become hilariously clear.
The director is Kimberly Roberts.
The show opens tonight and continues Saturday and Sept. 29-30, Oct. 5-8 and Oct. 13-14. All shows begin at 8 p.m. except Oct. 8, which is a 2 p.m. matinee.
Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors, available at the door or by calling 921-1706.
“For Colored Girls”
The Onyx Theatre Troupe, Spokane’s black theater group, opens its first play of the season tonight, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf,” by Ntozake Shange.
This is a collection of narrative pieces which capture the feelings of seven black women. It contains humor, music and emotions from despair to joy. It is recommended for mature audiences.
The show runs tonight and Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m., and then continues Sept. 28, 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. All shows are at the East Central Community Center. Tickets are $5, available at the door.
“Misery II: McManus In Love”
Sandpoint gets the opportunity tonight and Saturday to see the latest stage effort by its hometown literary star, humorist Patrick McManus.
This McManus-written sequel includes the same cast of characters - Crazy Eddy, Retch Sweeney, Rancid Crabtree and McManus himself - all played by actor Tim Behrens.
This show has plenty of patented McManus humor, but instead of being about the outdoors, it is about the young McManus and his discovery of girls.
The show runs at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint. Tickets are $9, $6 for students 16 and under, available at BJ’s Games and Books, Eve’s Leaves and Java Adagio in Sandpoint.