The “play within a play” is a familiar tradition in both drama and films. In fact, when Hamlet says “the play’s the thing,” it’s that sneaky internal play he’s talking about. But if you’re looking not to catch the conscience of the king but instead to laugh your hiney off, the play outside the play is the one you want. That’s Noises Off, a relentless farce about the backstage dysfunction of a theater troupe presenting a goofy, blandly sexy romp called Nothing On. Forget not trying this at home -- what these characters get themselves into is not safe anywhere, but it sure is funny.
Mesa Encore Theatre wraps up its 2012-13 season with the popular comedy through Sunday, June 16, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Curtain time on Thursday, June 13, is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $24 to $29 and are available at www.mesaartscenter.com or 480-644-6500.