Had the delightful chance last night to catch The Play That Goes Wrong on Broadway. I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time. One of my favorite plays is Michael Frayn’s Noises Off (which I have seen several times). Believe it or not, this is an even broader version of the same concept. Essentially an amateur drama society is putting on a performance and nearly everything possible goes wrong.
(In my younger days I was in a performance of a British farce Run For Your Wife. As my character stormed on stage I point to another character on stage only to find the doorknob had come off in my hand as I brought it forward. I ad-libbed “This house is falling apart at the seams” – which was appropriate and sneaked it off stage to a stagehand who fixed it in the act break. Now multiply that by a million times.)
The only TONY nod it received was for the scenery, which certainly deserved a nomination. It is as much a character as any performing on stage – who are all excellent and limber and blessed with excellent timing. It is every amateur theatrical disaster in one performance. This is not quite as profound as a Long Days Journey Into Night, but I would estimate it has about two million more laughs. Don’t miss it. Just for fun.