Soon after the audience took its seats for the Tony Award winning and Broadway comedy mega hit The Play that Goes Wrong, a member of the ‘crew’ recommended we ‘look up.’ “The light fixtures are ancient,” he deadpanned. “And if we were sitting under one of them we ‘might want to move’ (as if we even could)…fair warning to patrons that even ‘before the show,’ nothing would be sacred or safe, and if something could go wrong, it probably would! We giggled, if a tad nervously.
The actor’s matter of fact ‘warning’ set the tone as members of a 1920s era ‘Cornley University Drama Society’ struggle valiantly to perform their roles in The Play that Goes Wrong, a double murder mystery… over the course of getting to the bottom of whodunit, the actors are ‘challenged’ by a virtual onslaught of Mad Hat mishaps. Mind you, these consummate actors all the while are effortlessly employing classic devices of comic genius whether forgetting their own lines or reciting one another’s, or yelling at the audience (“‘You are a terrible audience!” one actor bellowed to our laughter) while navigating a precarious set in which everything either bops you in the nose or eventually collapses during the ensuing mayhem.
Grab some tickets too to enjoy these hilarious and classic British ‘slapstick’ performances complete with dead bodies rising (and reappearing), staircases falling, doors slamming, a kooky affair, a nutty brawl for the lead female role, and so much more! Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong manages to induce a feeling of hopefulness about life. Despite the potential for everything to go magnificently wrong at every possible moment, you can still feel happy! And, laugh your head off! Yes, it’s true! Simply give in and lose yourself to the nonsensical, and you too may happily spring up with everyone else in a standing ovation to honor this clever, well choreographed production and in appreciation of a thoroughly entertaining eve out on Broadway in the beautiful Lyceum Theater. More mini reviews and tickets info from the producers, below.— Grace Bennett
Reviews and Info from The Play that Goes Wrong:
“Year’s best! This plucky British import, against all odds (and more than a few pundits), outlasted every play that opened last season by cleaving wholly to a pure vision of comedy.” – Forbes
“One of the best Broadway debuts of the year. The Play That Goes Wrong was all about precision in its humor and each of the ensemble players delivered. Nothing was funnier or as well-executed onstage in 2017.” – Entertainment Tonight
The Tony Award winning hit comedy The Play That Goes Wrong continues to go right into the New Year! The producers of the longest running play currently on Broadway have announced that a new block of tickets is now on sale through July 1, 2018 following its best week ever and highest gross yet of $707,315. for the week ending December 31, 2017.
The Broadway cast of The Play That Goes Wrong stars Ashley Bryant (Emotional Creature) as “Annie,” Clifton Duncan (City Center Encores! Assassins) as “Robert,” Mark Evans (Paper Mill Playhouse’s Mary Poppins) as “Chris,” Jonathan Fielding (Noises Off) as “Jonathan,” Alex Mandell (Hand to God) as Max, Amelia McClain (Noises Off) as “Sandra,” Harrison Unger (Broadway debut) as “Dennis” and Akron Watson (The Color Purple) as “Trevor.” The company also features Preston Truman Boyd (Sunset Boulevard), Ned Noyes (You Can’t Take It With You), Ashley Reyes (Broadway debut) and Katie Sexton (Broadway debut).
The Play That Goes Wrong began performances March 9 and officially opened on Broadway on April 2 at The Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street).
The Broadway production of The Play That Goes Wrong received the 2017 Tony Award for Best Set Design, a Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Best Play and the Theater Fans Award Choice Award for Best Play.
Awarded 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, 2014 WhatsOnStage Best New Comedy and 2015 UK BroadwayWorld Best New Play Awards, The Play That Goes Wrong is now in its fourth year in the West End, is currently on a 30 week UK tour and currently playing on six continents. The producers have avoided Antarctica for fear of a frosty reception.
It is a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a play which started its life at a London fringe venue with only four paying members of the public at the first performance, and has gone on to play to an audience of over 1.5 million people around the world.
Mischief Theatre, led by Artistic Director Henry Lewis and Company Director Jonathan Sayer, was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief Theatre performs across the UK and internationally with improvised and original scripted work.
In addition to the current hit London production of The Play That Goes Wrong at The Duchess Theatre, Mischief Theatre’s The Comedy About A Bank Robbery plays The Criterion Theatre and in January 2017 their production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong completed a limited holiday run at The Apollo Theatre to rave reviews, making Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields the youngest ever writers to have three shows playing simultaneously in the West End. Their specially filmed studio version of Peter Pan Goes Wrong was broadcast by the BBC on New Year’s Eve 2016 and this year they were commissioned to write A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong which broadcast on BBC One over Christmas. Both shows were seen by over six million people in the UK.
The Play That Goes Wrong is directed by Mark Bell, featuring set design by Tony Award Winner Nigel Hook, lighting design by Ric Mountjoy, sound design by Andy Johnson and costume design by Roberto Surace.
The Play That Goes Wrong is produced on Broadway by Kevin McCollum, J.J. Abrams, Kenny Wax, Stage Presence Ltd., Catherine Schreiber, Ken Davenport, Double Gemini Productions / deRoy-Brunish, Damian Arnold / TC Beech, Greenleaf Productions / Bard-Roth, Martian Entertainment / Jack Lane / John Yonover and Lucas McMahon.
Tickets for the Broadway production are available by calling Telecharge at 800-447-7400, online at www.telecharge.com or in person at the The Lyceum Theatre box office (149 West 45th Street).