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Menlo Drama is presenting Noises Off , a play-within-a-play where the drama behind the curtain is as funny as the farce on stage.

Performances run Friday, November 16 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 17 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, and Sunday, November 18 at 5:00 pm in Florence Moore Auditorium at Menlo School, 50 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton. Tickets — $10 for adults, $5 for students — are available for advance purchase online.  Tickets may also be available at the door one hour before each performance. This production is suitable for middle school audiences and above.

British playwright Michael Frayn’s Noises Off is a  slapstick story of a mediocre troupe of actors, their overly-ambitious director, and the chaos that ensues when their offstage romantic rivalries and behind-the-curtain dalliances upstage the show they are trying to perform. This three-act play-within-a-play follows the struggling theater group through dress rehearsal, a backstage view of the play, and a near closing night catastrophe, when slamming doors, flying sardines, falling trousers and general pandemonium render the production completely unhinged.

There is something to love about every moment in this show,” says junior cast member Nils Forstall. “Whether it’s the drama, building tension, or good old-fashioned slapstick humor, this show is filled with unique hilarity and charm that shouldn’t be missed.”

In the director’s chair for Noises Off is Menlo School’s Director of Communications Alex Perez. Formerly the Director of Drama and Director of Creative Arts, Perez is thrilled to be returning to the Menlo stage. “It’s a gift to work with our talented drama students,” he says. “They are incredibly dedicated and hardworking. It’s the best part of my day to spend time in rehearsals with them.”

Perez chose this show in part because it is considered one of the funniest plays of all time, and also because of the unique challenges it presents for the actors. According to Perez, Noises Off  “is basically three mini-plays covered in three acts, with each act almost like the one before and yet different enough to make it difficult for the actors to keep track.”

Continuing its tradition of philanthropy through Menlo Drama Gives Back, this production of Noises Off will benefit Children’s Healing Project, a theater-based therapeutic arts education program for critically ill children hospitalized at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. Over the past five seasons, Menlo Drama has raised more than $32,000 for the benefit of specific nonprofit organizations whose missions align with a central theme of the current show.

The Noises Off cast chose the Healing Project, a partnership between TheatreWorks and Packard, for its mission to bring the joy and laughter of theater to children most in need of its healing magic.

Photo by Clara Guthrie; from left to right: Braedon Young, Beth Sanford, Maddie Bernheim, Nils Forstall, Peter Hanson, Mack Ford, Tucker Gold, Jordan Gold, Ethan Bernheim

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SafeSpace/Parents Place – Holiday Online Workshop on Nov. 14

SafeSpace in Menlo Park is partnering with Parents Place for a special discussion on family stress around the holidays. This online workshop on November 14 at 12:00 pm will explore the common stressors that families face at this time of year and strategize ways to engage the whole family for a more peaceful season. You too […]

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Create tabletop art from re-purposed books at the Menlo Park Library on Nov. 16

Build and decorate your own tabletop art on Nov. 16 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm by repurposing a retired book to create a tablescape, using paint and other materials as well. Art facilitator Christie Inocencio will provide all the materials you need to let your imagination soar. This adult program is free, but space is […]

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How Camp Fremont and World War I impacted the Menlo Park Fire District

The Menlo Park Fire District’s first Fire Station was built in 1919 and paid for by the War Department that supported Camp Fremont, which was training Army soldiers for World War I. At one point the Camp supported 28,000 soldiers, thousands of horses and mules, and 1,125 mostly temporary (flammable), wood buildings. A fire at […]

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John Weaver spins tales from the sea at Menlo Park Library on Nov. 15

Storyteller John Weaves tells tales about amazing things that happen at sea at the Menlo Park Library on Nov. 15 from 4:00 to 4:45 pm. No registration is necessary for this event, which is especially for big kids — elementary schoolers on up, along with their adults. Storytelling is telling stories without using a book. […]

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Menlo Park Deputy Fire Chief checks in from Paradise, reporting widespread devastation

The City may be called Paradise but the reality on the front lines of the firefight is anything but, reports Deputy Chief Don Long with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District who is leading a Northern San Mateo County Strike Team of 20 personnel and five municipal or “heavy” Fire Engines. Participating personnel are from Foster […]

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Western Ballet performing mini Nutcracker at Menlo Park Library on Nov. 15

The Western Ballet Company brings the timeless magic of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to the Menlo Park Library Thursday, November 15 at 7:00 pm. The talented and elegant dancers of Western Ballet weave the tale of a young girl who dreams that her Nutcracker doll becomes a valiant prince who takes her on a royal visit to […]

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Spotted: Menlo Park start up Drop Water kiosk at San Jose Airport

Last Wednesday morning, the Drop Water team wheeled a kiosk into the San Jose Airport for installation in Terminal B. The kiosk is the first of its kind — it makes and bottles drinks on demand, in 100% compostable bottles. The company is the brainchild of Scott Edwards, CEO of Drop Water who was profiled […]

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Rich Struckman joins Menlo Park Police Department as commander overseeing Patrol Division

Rich Struckman is joining the Menlo Park Police Department as police commander effective November 13, 2018, overseeing the Patrol Division. Commander Struckman was raised in San Francisco and is a longtime resident of San Mateo County. He began his life in public service in 1984, when he joined the United States Army. In 1990, he […]

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Veterans Day celebration at Little House on Nov. 9

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the World War I Armistice and as a tribute to all who have served, Peninsula Volunteers will offer free lunch to veterans and a family member on Friday, Nov. 9 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. Non-military guests are asked to make a $10 donation for lunch. There […]

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Nealon Park sports blue and green tennis courts

All five tennis courts at Nealon Park have been resurfaced and painted blue and green, thanks to feedback from the tennis community. The new court colors will enhance visibility of the ball for players. The repair work is a temporary fix until full reconstruction of the tennis courts begins this spring. This resurfacing project is […]

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