Broadway shows are hit and miss. For a miss, you don’t need to search much further than umm… two posts ago? For a hit, sit back and take a read.
The Play That Goes Wrong is yup, a play — it’s British slapstick humor, similar to when we saw Mousetrap on Broadway in England (so Jessica tells me). It’s a show within a show. You see, really you’re supposed to be the audience for The Murder at Haversham Manor, a murder mystery play. But as you can imagine, literally everything goes wrong, from the lead actress getting knocked unconscious to props get swapped out and mismatched to the set literally falling apart.
Harold and I saw the play together — for the first act we (but mostly Harold) were sitting right in front of a man who laughed SUPER loudly. And he was leaning forward the whole time, with his elbows on his knees, and was like laugh-breathing into Harold’s neck. We moved a few rows closer for the second act and, needless to say, enjoyed it a lot more.
Laugh-breather aside, the first act was a little slow. But that’s sort of expected in plays, right? Especially comedies. The real humor is when it reaches that apex when the entire cast is on stage and all the weird shit is happening at the same time and you can’t even keep up! Aka the second act.
A cool aspect of the play was that it didn’t entirely live on stage. In a box in the theater on the left, they created this whole “tech” area where an actor sat for most of the show. He played the lighting/sound guy who totally didn’t give a shit, and when you looked over he’d often be texting on his phone, eating food, or generally not paying attention. And to keep it tied into the play, sometimes he’d play the wrong sound or completely miss a lighting cue. It was really well done!
But even beyond that, the show took humor to a new level. The marketing for it is seriously so clever and the whole play has so much personality. My friend Jennie showed me this video, which was created after the play was nominated for a Tony for Best Set. Cheeeeeeky.
There’s more, though! Look at their playbill, right below — it’s intentional 😉
Was it the funniest show ever? No. Did I laugh so hard that my stomach hurt? Yes! Actually, one of the cutest parts was when one of the actors “forgot” his next line, and accidentally said a previous line, and the scene would restart. They ended up doing the same scene in a loop three or four times. It got a little repetitive but the joke stopped juuuuust as I was getting a little annoyed. That was how most of it went — a lot of silly, slapstick, ridiculous stuff that went on juuust long enough. Although, I won’t lie, there was a part when guys were trying to drag a woman out a window and it was The-Gods-Must-Be-Crazy-funny-status 😀