‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ goes right

Comedy exceeds expectations


Fair use from Broadway Goes Wrong

Samantha Klepfer

As someone who expects her theater endeavours to include dramatic moments where the actors break into song, “The Play That Goes Wrong” was uncharted territory for me. Heading into the ballad-less show I have to admit my expectations were low. The moment I sat down, the play began, though not everyone realized it right away. The premise of “The Play That Goes Wrong” is a small theater company trying to put on a murder-mystery performance but nothing seems to go right. This “disaster” of a show starts with some of the crew members asking for audience help with little tasks like playing a dog on stage or holding something in place while the crew finishes the set.

The cast includes actors and “crew members” armed with great comedic timing, which brought out more laughs from the audience than I could count. The pit was incredible at picking up on more subtle cues than I thought were possible. The actors did a fantastic job being both actors and comedians, playing more toward one end or the other when the play called for it, and giving the play an extra boost wherever it was needed. The costume design was very well done and stitched accurately for utmost comedy. The cast was very small, only eight members, but they were so dynamically good together the small cast barely even registered. The dialogue was great and the show even included a monologue with an impromptu joke about Wisconsin. This freshness added to the jokes gave “The Play That Goes Wrong” a much more realistic feel.

The star of the show, however, was the crew. Amongst all the acting, music and flair, the real crew created one of the most impressive sets I’ve ever seen. Because the show is a comedy, everything needs to happen at just the right time, otherwise it isn’t as funny. From paintings falling off the walls, to accidental fires, to entire walls caving in, the set crew was on top of it all, getting things to “go wrong” at exactly the right time. This proved very complicated as we never saw the crew once running around from one part of the set to the next, even though many of the set disasters were fairly complex in their execution.

All in all, “The Play That Goes Wrong” was an unexpectedly fantastic way to spend my Sunday evening. The show is great for people who consider most plays to be boring and for people who appreciate comedy.

“The Play That Goes Wrong”: ★★★★★