The Play That Goes Wrong officially opened on Broadway on April 2 at The Lyceum Theatre, after a successful West End run in London. It’s a play I’ve been curious about for some time, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to review the play this week, with my 14 year-old daughter in tow.
The fun started as soon as we sat down as some of the cast members were interacting with the audience, goofing around. This was very indicative of the sense of humor and type of pranks that would be cast for the next two hours over the course of the show. The show, about an accident-prone university drama society performing a play about a murder mystery, currently features an all American cast. Most do very good British accents. Some don’t, but that’s all part of the fun of the show. The show is total slapstick comedy, a nice reprieve from the current political climate we live in. I rather liked just getting away from reality and entering a farcical world for a night.
The set, which recently won a Tony Award, allows the actors to go completely over the top. It’s almost like another character. As the characters meltdown, so does the set and it ends up coming down as they do. Each actor is very committed to their craft, and some are excellent at slapstick comedy, particularly Alex Mandell, who plays Max, down to the final curtain call (which I mean quite literally as everything on the stage breaks down in the end).
The cast is made up of Ashley Bryant as Annie, Clifton Duncan as Robert, Mark Evans as Chris, Mandell as previously mentioned, Harrison Unger as Dennis, Akron Watson as Trevor, with current understudies Jonathan Fielding and Amelia McClain assuming the roles of Jonathan and Sandra. Preston Truman Boyd, Ned Noyes, Ashley Reyes, and Katie Sexton will also join the production. The set design is by Nigel Hook, lighting design by Ric Mountjoy, sound design by Andy Johnson, and costume design by Roberto Surace.
My teenager laughed her head off, as did everyone around me. If you are looking for a good night out on Broadway that is full of laughter, The Play That Goes Wrong is for you. Bring your kids, partners, friends, whomever needs a good laugh.
Disclosure: I was provided with tickets to facilitate this review but all opinions are my own.