Portland in denial that Third Rail’s sold out blockbuster NOISES OFF has actually closed

Heading into the weekend, Portlanders had a spring in their step and a smile on their collective face. The sun was out (in January), the new year was off to a splendid start, and all seemed right with the world. This was going to be a good weekend, by golly, like the last few had been.

At least, that was the plan.

Then, slowly, an indefinable sense of angst and anxiety began to spread. That springy step slowed down a bit, the smile became more of a straightish line (half way to a frown). Otherwise “normal” Pacific Northwesterners looked up from glowing mobile screens while waiting in line at Trader Joe’s with an almost palpable sense of physical dread. And a most inexplicable gloom started to cover the town.

What on earth was wrong?

And then, one by one, the citizens realized.

Third Rail’s record-setting, crowd-delighting NOISES OFF was no more.

Oh shit. Folks had been hearing about it and planning to see it (some for the 2nd or 3rd time), and they just kind of took it for granted that it would be on for a while. Even those who weren’t going to see it got a strong sense of security knowing that at least four nights of the week, the mega hit was going full bore, sanding the paint off the back wall of the Winnie with the audience’s laughter. They knew if they really, really needed to, they could get a ticket (if they were lucky) and be comforted by hearing Dave Bodin go on about “strife and uncertainty”. Or Damon Kupper talk about… “you know”. Or Karen Trumbo declare “I’ve only got one leg”. They knew that as long as the show was on, sardines, bags (or the lack – or not lack – thereof), tax exiles, whiskey, flowers, doors that don’t open or won’t stay shut, pants that won’t stay up, “Richard 3”, fire axes, plates of gravy, et al were just a few steps away, down at the PDX5 Art Performance Centers.

But not any more. Now it’s all gone.

As this harsh reality set in, the city observed a moment of silence to mark the first NOISES OFF-free weekend. Down at City Hall, the occupy movement briefly revitalized and started a hunger strike to demand an extension for the show. Mayor Hales appeared at a hastily organized press conference to calm the citizens and assure them there will be other Third Rail shows. Some quite soon. He also suggested people go home and maybe “watch some TV”, to which a heckler responded, “This is Portland! We don’t have TV’s!”

Crowds started to assemble for a silent vigil in Pioneer Square to mark the first Saturday night with no NOISES OFF performance in six weeks.
Crowds started to assemble for a silent vigil in Pioneer Square to mark the first Saturday night with no NOISES OFF performance in six weeks.

The truth sets in.
The truth sets in. Hello “5 Stages of Loss and Grief”.

Mayor Hales held a press conference at City Hall.  "We're working with Third Rail leadership, and they assure us they will be doing another show just as good the same time next year.  And they have three more shows on in the current season.  So why don't you folks go home and watch some TV or something."
Mayor Hales held a press conference at City Hall. “We’re working with Third Rail leadership, and they assure us they will be doing another show just as good the same time next year. And they have three more shows in the current season. So why don’t you folks go home and watch some TV or something.”

Not all Portlanders responded well to the news that NOISES OFF had closed.
Not all Portlanders responded well to the news that NOISES OFF has closed.

Reached for comment, President Obama was terse and sober.  "Folks, I know some of you are disappointed, and what can I say?  So am I.  I missed it, too.  I was going to see it, but Congress shut down my arts budget.  Malia and Sasha saw it.  At this time, there's nothing more we can do."
Reached for comment, President Obama was terse and sober. “Folks, I know some of you are disappointed, and what can I say? So am I. I missed it, too. I was going to see it, but Congress shut down my arts budget. Malia and Sasha saw it. At this time, there’s nothing more we can do.”

When briefed on the situation, the Timbers Army set fire to their own seating area in solidarity with Portland.
When informed that NOISES OFF has closed, the Timbers Army set fire to their own seating area.

Third Rail’s record-setting sensation NOISES OFF approaches ye olde end

It had to end sometime.

But based on recent ticket sales, Portland may not be ready for it to end.

Wow.

Third Rail’s record-setting smash hit production of NOISES OFF has but one week to go.

The show, which should just about double Third Rail’s previous box office record, closes this coming Saturday (which is now sold out after I got the last available ticket way up in the nose bleed real estate of tier 3).

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are still open though. 1.8.2014 UPDATE If somehow, despite all the warnings, you failed to get yourself a ticket, you are now out of luck as it is SOLD OUT.

If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out on a LOT of fun.

Third Rail went big, swung for the fence, and sent the ball into outer space with this hit.

The phrase “beyond your wildest dreams” comes to mind.

Sardines and bags for all…

Damon Kupper, Karen Trumbo, Maureen Porter, Spencer Conway.  Photo: Owen Carey.
Damon Kupper, Karen Trumbo, Maureen Porter, Spencer Conway. Photo: Owen Carey.

We warned you: Third Rail’s NOISES OFF is a sensation

Starting almost a year ago, our handy TEWS (Theatre Early Warning System) has been cranking out advance announcements that a show of note was headed this way.

Not just any show. Something big. Really big. And REALLY funny.

And now this Titanic-sized vessel of comedy is no longer churning toward downtown Portland.

It’s here.

We gave you plenty of notice. But did you listen?

Yes, based on the close to full houses stacking up down at PDX 5 Performance Centres, more than a few of you did.

Despite Lloyd Dallas’s involvement, Third Rail’s NOISES OFF looks like a good old-fashioned hit poised to break company box office records. And as hits do, this one is playing at or near capacity.

You may not have had this type of audience experience in Portland before. Speaking of noise – 250 people completely losing their [redacted] while laughing is pretty loud.

So whatever you do, don’t miss out.

The show runs through January 11.

This big.  But not doomed to sink in the North Atlantic...
This big. But not doomed to sink in the North Atlantic…

50 words: NOISES OFF by Michael Frayn at Third Rail

So that happened. Like going over a Niagara Falls of comedy – and (barely) surviving. Hysterical glee. Paroxysms of joy. Who says humans aren’t gods? One of them wrote this. From deep within their sardine strewn, whiskey-laden, anglophilic wheelhouse, Third Rail takes aim, goes for gold, and gets platinum. Unforgettable.

4-stars

Thru January 11

#TRRTNoisesOff

Nine reasons your ability to stay in control is in serious jeopardy.  Maureen Porter, Spencer Baylis Conway, Rolland Walsh, Rolland Walsh, Karen Trumbo, Isaac Lamb, Kelly Godell, Damon Kupper, Amy G. Newman and David Bodin.  Photo: Owen Carey.
Nine reasons your ability to stay in control is in serious jeopardy. Maureen Porter, Spencer Baylis Conway, Rolland Walsh, Rolland Walsh, Karen Trumbo, Isaac Lamb, Kelly Godell, Damon Kupper, Amy G. Newman and David Bodin. Photo: Owen Carey.

"You know."  Orange can work for you, too!  Damon Kupper and Isaac Lamb.  Photo: Owen Carey.
“Because…you know.” Damon Kupper and Isaac Lamb. Photo: Owen Carey.

It's a hard life being a globetrotting theatre director in demand.  But somebody has to do it.  Lloyd Dallas consults "the book".
It’s a hard life being a globetrotting theatre director in demand. But somebody has to do it. Lloyd Dallas consults “the book”.

This house believes…

…that you’d best get inside it.

At about 250 seats a show and only 22 performances, a mere 5500 Portlanders (max) will get a chance to see the upcoming sardines-a-palooza (aka NOISES OFF) at Third Rail.

That’s really not very many. That’s the number of people waiting in line for the jacks at a Timbers game. Or backed up in traffic daily at 5pm on the Fremont Parking Lot. I mean Bridge.

If this show catches fire the way it should, there are going to be quite a few UNHAPPY campers who did not get their tickets ahead of time. Like they were told to. Repeatedly.

But surely you, dear reader (being all in the know – and all), won’t miss this rare chance to see Portland’s boldest and best big theatre company taking a run at the Godzilla of all British farces.

Will you?

PLUS it’s dead center in the end of year holiday slot! What else are you waiting for?! Free beer? A personal invitation? A vigorous acting lesson and massage from Lloyd Dallas (while he simultaneously posts on all social media known to humankind)?

Miss this farce-pocalypse – and you’d better be prepared to endure lengthy questioning and electronic surveillance c/o the NSA, as they seek to understand the inner workings (or not) of your brain. And believe me, those people do NOT have a light touch.

It all starts Friday at the P5PCPA Arts Centre Performance Complex.

Which is right next to the Schnitzer on SW Broadway.

PS: #TRRTNoisesOff

Uh huh.

Fill this house.  Will one of these seats be yours?
Fill this house. Will one of these seats be yours?

Do NOT keep calm

But please DO carry on.

As Black Friday descends, we urge you to freak out and panic buy like a kid at a Secaucus mall.

But not TV’s or clothes or computers.

No, no. Not those Made in China tchotchkes.

Instead, get something really valuable that will last a lifetime.

And it’s 100% Made in America (aside from the script).

Namely, a ticket to one of the funniest plays ever staged.

It’s T-7 on the farce clock and counting down…

They should be getting tickets for NOISES OFF instead.
They should have bought tickets for NOISES OFF instead.

Way more fun than a 50" TV.
Way more fun than a 50″ TV.