Early buzz on scenic designer Robert Kovachs set for Noises Off, which launches Phoenix Theatres 90th season, is that the set is a real stunner. And it needs to be -- because the set in Michael Frayns play-within-a-play is a principal character, just as important as the leading lady (in this case, the always-funny Cathy Dresbach, who must mug up a storm as Dotty, an actress of a certain age) or the director (Actors Theatres estimable Matthew Wiener). Frayns farce, once made into a perfectly terrible movie starring Carol Burnett, is one of the funniest stage plays ever written -- managing to make a backstage circus into a comic carnival, thanks to that revolving set, which allows the audience to watch thespians at play.
Considering its cast and pedigree, Noises Off will undoubtedly prove popular with audiences and may well be extended. For now, it plays through September 12, at Phoenix Theatre.