The Play that Goes Wrong / Courtesy
What would happen if Monty Python and Sherlock Holmes had an illegitimate Broadway baby? You’d get The Play That Goes Wrong, the award-winning smash-hit comedy from the producer of Avenue Q and Something Rotten, and co-producer J.J. Abrams.
In this play-within-a-play, a London-based university drama society presents a fictitious 1920s murder mystery called The Murder at Haversham Manor. When an unending series of “minor mishaps” wreaks havoc on opening night, the amateur cast and production team take the old maxim “the show must go on” to the extreme and continue their disastrous performance with die hard commitment ‘til the sidesplitting end.
The show’s laugh-out-loud lunacy encompasses everything from mispronunciations, misplaced props, and mismatched action and dialogue, to missed cues, misaligned spotlights and a malfunctioning set, alongside an array of witty wordplay, sight gags, spit takes, slapstick and pratfalls. For all of the faux calamities to be believable, the timing must be impeccable. Adeptly executed by an impressive ensemble that never misses a beat in the increasingly rapid misfires, the madcap mania never fails to trigger guffaws from the audience with the laughably convincing “bad performance” of the nonprofessional characters (which is perhaps the biggest challenge for the terrifically talented actors who play them).
While “non-stop laughs” has become something of a hackneyed soundbite, here it’s a 100% accurate appraisal of this hysterically funny British farce of the highest order; literally not a minute goes by in which the audience isn’t howling, from before the show officially begins until the final bows.
See what celebrities are saying about The Play That Goes Wrong:
“This is the best worst show I’ve ever seen” – Rachel McAdams
“I’m compelled with laugher – and it’s only halfway! Funniest things I’ve seen in years” – John Lithgow
“I actually peed my pants… Thank you?” – Cate Blanchett
“I’m so, so sorry for all of you… That said: Brilliant. Well played.” – Neil Patrick Harris
Don’t miss your chance to see “the funniest play Broadway has ever seen!” (HuffPost).
The Play That Goes Wrong comes to Walton Arts Center for eight gut-busting shows Nov. 12-17. Buy tickets here!
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