Playwright Michael Frayn has had a rather schizophrenic new millennium on Broadway. In 2000, Copenhagen, his serious-minded treatise on physics, won the Best Play Tony, while a year later, his classic farce Noises Off was back on the Great White Way.
Frayn's Alarms and Excursions is sort of part drama with a big helping of farce, with modern man's dependence on technology as the jumping off point for an evening of wacky comedy. Berkeley's Aurora Theatre will perform Alarms, made up of eight short works, Nov. 15-Dec. 22. Soren Oliver directs.
During the course of Alarms and Excursions, everything that can go wrong with something electrical does. A tele-prompter strands an uptight woman politician, a misplaced remote control vacillates between unwanted muzak and unexpected pornography and an answering machine whose garbled messages leave a polite German tourist, stuck at the wrong airport, battered, beaten and in the emergency room. Frayn's other works include Benefactors, Clouds and Make or Break.
Alarms and Excursions features Adam Ludwig, John Oswald, Lee Ann Manley and Jennifer Wagner.
Single tickets to Aurora productions are $26-$30. The new Aurora Theatre is located at 2081 Addison Street. For tickets, call (510) 843-4822. The Aurora Theatre Company is on the web at http://auroratheatre.org. — By Christine Ehren