Big laughs over mistaken identity

Local News

The world premiere play Hard Cell is producing big laughs at Geva Theatre in Rochester!

It’s on the Wilson Stage through February 3.

Two of the stars, Patrick Noonan and Jennifer Cody, discussed the playwright, the plot and the laughs Friday during News 8 at Noon.

The comedy is centered around a college professor who finds himself lost in a small Midwestern town. “There’s a little mistaken identity by the local town people and they’re afraid of what they think, which is not necessarily the truth,” explained Cody. “And so the comedy arises when things get very dramatic and spin out of control.”

Noonan plays Evan Weathers, who stirs the pot. “I do!” he said. “I guess you would call me the town bully, but the bully with a heart! I guess I’m a bit of the antagonist character who’s not a stranger to bar fights and I do think somebody is somebody he’s not and I sort of go after him.”

Cody is not much help as the local sheriff Terry Burton. “I enter the fray a little later into the play and I have a lot of misinformation,” she said. “I have my own fear of perhaps losing my job if I don’t fix the situation. So, I’m maybe not as equipped as I should be.. and I’m a little trigger happy!”

The play does well to produce laughs without offending the audience. “Brent Askari, the playwright, was very cognizant when he wrote this play about not making fun of any individual or any group of people,” noted Noonan. “It’s a satire where we’re making fun of prejudices and stereotypes.”

He added, “Whenever I do comedy I always think it’s not high drama. You won’t walk out a better person but you will walk out in a better mood. This play is a little different. You will walk out in a better mood and it’s going to spark conversations.”

To get your tickets for Hard Cell, call (585) 232-GEVA or go online to

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