“Normal Noises”

"Balls" L-R: Sascha Vanderslik, Alec Reusch, Mareli Mitchel-Shields, Michael Gabiano. Photo by Doug Engalla.

A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Normal Noises” written and directed by Clara Rodriguez, produced by Brooklyn Sample, and co-produced by Heidi Mendez, running through September 10 at The Group Rep.

This selection of six short plays by Clara Rodriguez is a lovely way to dive back into live theatre.  Each play is a sweet and whimsical commentary on life and unlike many short play collections, these plays have a common voice and a common thread of recognising the amusing and weirdly wonderful nature of what it is to be human.

Clara Rodriguez has written these plays to loop perfectly together, interspersed with a very entertaining couple of actors who move set about in funny interludes of choreographed performance, entertaining us as the actors change and setting us up nicely for the next encounter with them.

“What’s In The Dip” L-R: Pascale Gigon, Lloyd Pedersen, Mareli Mitchel-Shields. Photo by Doug Engalla.

“Normal Noises” is mostly about love and the strange ways in which we find it. Each story plays out like a lovingly recounted anecdote, with brilliant use of the clever and inventive set design.  We meet and re-meet several of the characters. One of the stories in fact runs several times, a series of scenes punctuating the evening, giving us a wonderful sense of symmetry and resolution. 

The actors are hilarious, fully engaged in every nuance and twist of these warmly written and beautifully produced plays. 

“Normal Noises” L-R: Steve Shaw, Sheena Georges. Photo by Doug Engalla.

I loved the show! So many sweet performances and quirky yet very real characters.  I laughed and smiled and nodded knowingly in all the right places and was thoroughly entertained. 

I love the uniqueness of Clara Rodriguez’s voice, her stories feel fresh and purposeful, silly, meaningful and heartfelt.  

“Stakeout” L-R: Alec Reusch, Lloyd Pedersen. Photo by Doug Engalla.

We need to laugh, oh boy do we! This show will definitely do that. And I think you will see more than a little of yourself in these funny, carefully constructed souls, all seeking acceptance and longing for love. Bravo!!

Cast:

The cast features the talents of Melissa Bontempt, Cynthia Bryant, Cheryl Crosland, Michael Gabiano, Sheena Georges, Pascale Gigon, Melissa Kaye, Mareli Mitchel-Shields, Lloyd Pedersen, Alec Reusch, Steve Shaw, Neil Thompson, and Sascha Vanderslik.  

Team:

Production Team includes Clara Rodriguez (Playwright/Director/Set Designer/Original Artwork), Brooklyn Sample (Producer), Heidi Mendez (Co-Producer), Bert Emmett (Set Builder), Paul Reid (Lighting Designer), JC Gafford (Sound Designer), John Ledley (Stage Manager), Julie Davis and Kyra Schwartz (Props), Kristin Stancato (Webmaster), Anica Petrovic (Social Media), Doug Haverty (Graphics), and Doug Engalla (Photography).

“Bath Day” L-R: Cheryl Crosland, Michael Gabiano, Melissa Bontempt. Photo by Doug Engalla.

When:

Running through September 10

Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8PM

Where:

10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601

Tickets:

https://www.thegrouprep.com