BY DAVID BRADLEY, DIRECTOR
I’m from Philadelphia. We get a lot of Rocky comments and comparisons. I guess I’m ok with that, because Rocky’s an underdog, and I like underdog stories. I think a lot of people do. There’s something compelling and even inspiring about watching someone try to overcome obstacles and beat the odds when it seems they have no chance.
There are works that make you love being human and make you love and revere the humanity of other people. That is the great potential of any art. —Marilynne Robinson “The Brain Is Larger than the Sea”
A farce is an underdog story—except in farce, instead of David vs. Goliath, we get David vs. the doors, or the stairs, or the props (particularly if they are of a slippery, fishy variety). All those obstacles. All those things in the way of getting what you want. All those chances to fall down, screw up, topple over. Lots of reasons to throw in the towel—but in farce, no one ever does. They keep going. They go on with their particular show, whether it’s love, life, or, in the case of Noises Off, an actual show.
Even with a turkey that you know will fold— You may be stranded out in the cold— Still you wouldn’t change it for a sack of gold. Let’s go on with the show! —Irving Berlin, “There’s No Business like Show Business”
And ain’t that what being human is all about? We go on. And sometimes we’ve just gotta laugh hard at what an absurd endeavor that is—especially these days. (I keep thinking of a live version of “Stairway to Heaven” where lead singer Robert Plant suddenly cries out, “Does anyone remember laughter?”). So we come to watch Dotty and Lloyd and Belinda and the company of Nothing On give it their all. And we get to laugh our heads off as they make a glorious mess.
But I think deep down we’re laughing with them. Because at some point, we’ve all been them—underdogs, battling the odds. We’re as human as they are. They’re not giving up. We’re not giving up. We’re all in this together. Let’s go on with the show.
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