Monday, December 20, 2021

REVIEW: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Wows at Broadway Playhouse Through JANUARY 30, 2022

 ChiIL Mama’s Chi, IL Picks List

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

WILL WREAK HAVOC IN CHICAGO ONCE AGAIN 

$25 Digital Lottery tickets for The Play That Goes Wrong entry link and details below



              BROADWAY PLAYHOUSE

     Through JANUARY 30, 2022

Runtime: 2 hours with an intermission


Guest Review by 
Dugan Kenaz-Mara

The Play That Goes Wrong at Broadway Playhouse is a masterpiece. From the excellent writing and hilarious execution by the actors to the marvel of a set and comical program, the entire show is amazing from start to finish. 

Before taking your seat or at intermission you might notice that the program includes some comedic gems. Not only is the graphic design offset, but the actors included a fake program for the fake play they are putting on. It includes introductions and headshots in the style of their characters and even has fake advertisements to round the whole thing out. 

Before the show starts it is evident that things will go wrong. One of the characters playing a stage manager is out on stage freaking out over lost items, props start breaking before they get to be used, and the board operator character asks audience members about a misplaced DVD. As people find their seats they’ll notice the curtain isn’t drawn and there are still props strewn around the stage, not set for the top of the show. 

This play feels like watching a comedic rendition of an actor’s worst nightmare. I know I’ve certainly had a bad dream or two about forgetting my lines or having to go on as an understudy with no idea what to do, but this play takes it to the next level. What do you do when the stage door doesn’t unlock? What about when one of the leads gets knocked out and you have to get them off stage? Or when the replacement for that lead also gets knocked out? How about when both of them regain consciousness and have to fight for who actually gets to play the role? It probably feels like that’s the point where everything is going wrong, but that’s just the beginning. 

The actors do an amazing job of putting real stakes into their play and the characters play it up to another level. One of my favorite parts is how much fun they put into their performance. Because they realistically play people who are in a performance themselves it makes the little moments where they ‘break’ by interacting with the audience or whispering to each other that much more hysterical. 

My plus one had this to say, “I thought the whole cast did an excellent job at making both the actor and murder mystery’s characters shine through. The growing exasperation in some of them combined with the panic in others added to the hilarity. I could barely catch my breath from one bout of laughing before being thrust into another. With comedic timing tuned better than a German clock and physical feats that would make the best film stars jealous, I can’t imagine any theatergoers would walk away without their lungs being sore from laughing.”  Ben Jouras

I would recommend this show to anyone who has experience in theatre. There are fun references and puns on well-known musicals. There are jokes about different theater styles and elements, and there are even moments of physical comedy making fun of bad acting practices that anyone in the field will instantly recognize. Because my friend and I are both actors, many of them hit close to home, cracking us up the entire show!

Dugan Kenaz-Mara is an actor, designer, and photographer studying theatre and psychology at Northwestern University. Contrary to popular belief, he is not a time traveler.


THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is one of our favorites here at ChiIL Mama, so we were jazzed to hear that Broadway in Chicago is bringing it back to Broadway Playhouse with a talented Chicago cast. We caught the Broadway touring company in 2018 and laughed so hard our abs hurt for days. Check out past review here

The producers of the international hit comedy THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG are pleased to announce the cast for a Chicago production coming to the Windy City for a limited seven-week engagement. Tickets are on sale now at www.BroadwayInChicago.com for performances running December 14, 2021 through January 30, 2022 at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut St.).

All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket. THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is recommended for ages 8 and older.

The Chicago-based company will include Colton Adams as Trevor, Joseph Anthony Byrd as Jonathan, Ernaisja Curry as Annie, Michael Kurowski as Dennis, Matt Mueller as Chris, Kelly O’Sullivan as Sandra, Jarred Webb as Max, and Jonah D. Winston as Robert. Standbys include Caroline Chu, Drew Johnson, Russell Mernagh, and Brenann Stacker.

Producer Kevin McCollum said, “More than anything right now, we need to laugh. THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG brings audiences of all ages and backgrounds together through comedy. And we are thrilled to return to Chicago with an incredible cast of extraordinarily talented Chicagoans.” 

Co-written by Mischief company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is a riotous comedy about the theatre. The play introduces ‘The Cornley University Drama Society,’ which is attempting to put on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does, as the accident-prone thespians battle on against all odds to get to their final curtain call.

“So much goes right…it’s tough to beat ‘The Play That Goes Wrong.’” – Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times

Entertainment Weekly raves THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is “hilarious, non-stop pandemonium.” The New York Times calls it “a gut-busting hit,” and Huffington Postproclaims it “the funniest play Broadway has ever seen!” The New York Post says, “Nothing is as fall down funny. GO.”

The Broadway production of THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG opened at the Lyceum Theatre on April 2, 2017 and by its closing on January 6, 2019 played 27 previews and 745 performances, making it the second longest running show in the history of the Lyceum Theatre. Not yet done with New York, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG officially opened Off-Broadway on February 20, 2019 at New World Stages – Stage 4, where it resumed performances in October 2021 after being suspended due to the pandemic. THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG received a Tony Award® for Best Set Design, Broadway.comAudience Choice Award for Best Play, and the Theater Fans Choice Award for Best Play.


“UPROARIOUS! A hearty laugh-a-thon for the holiday season.” – Scott C. Morgan, Daily Herald

Winning the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Comedy, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is now in its eighth year in the West End, having played to over two million people in more than 30 countries on six continents. It is a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a play that started its life at a London fringe venue with only four paying members of the public at the first performance and has gone on to play to an audience of over two million people around the world.

“This is a data-driven observation: People laughed all night.” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Mischief Theatre Ltd. was founded in 2008 by a group of acting graduates of LAMDA and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief performs across the UK and internationally with original scripted and improvised work and also has a program of workshops. Their previous West End production was The Comedy About A Bank Robbery (Criterion Theatre). In September 2019, the company started a residency at the Vaudeville Theatre with Groan Ups followed by Magic Goes Wrong, which is currently running in the West End until February 2022. Other Mischief productions, including Peter Pan Goes Wrong, regularly tour in licensed productions in the UK, USA and worldwide. Mischief was first seen on television in the Royal Variety Performance of 2015 and subsequently in two BBC One Christmas specials, “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” (2016) and “A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong” (2017). Their recent six-part TV series called “The Goes Wrong Show” was aired on BBC One. The company is owned and controlled by its original members and is led by a creative group and its directors Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer. 

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is directed in Chicago by Matt DiCarlo with original Broadway direction by Mark Bell, featuring set design by Tony Award winner Nigel Hook, lighting design in Chicago by Jeremy Cunningham based on the original Broadway design by Ric Mountjoy, sound design in Chicago by Beth Lake based on the original Broadway design by Andrew Johnson, and costume design by Roberto Surace.

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is produced in Chicago by Kevin McCollum, J.J. Abrams, Kenny Wax, Stage Presence Ltd., Catherine Schreiber, Ken Davenport, Double Gemini Productions / deRoy- Brunish, Damian Arnold / TC Beech, Greenleaf Productions / Bard-Roth, Martian Entertainment / Jack Lane / John Yonover, and Lucas McMahon.

For more information, visit www.BroadwayGoesWrong.com or follow

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @BwayGoesWrong

 

CHICAGO CAST BIOGRAPHIES

COLTON ADAMS (Trevor). Theatre credits include Six Degrees of Separation (Redtwist Theatre), Scapin (Citadel Theatre), Goldfish (u/s, Route 66 Theatre Company). Received BFA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and studied at Acting Studio Chicago. TV/film credits include “61st Street” (AMC), Pardoned by Grace, and Driftless. Colton is represented by Big Mouth Talent. 

JOSEPH ANTHONY BYRD (Jonathan). Chicago: And The World Goes Round at Marriott, Annas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric Opera, Emmett Till in The Ballad of Emmett Till at Goodman, and Emcee in Cabaret at Paramount. Broadway/National Tour: Kinky Boots, The Lion King, and Mamma Mia! (LV). TV: “4400,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Proven Innocent.”

ERNAISJA CURRY (Annie). National tour debut! The Florida native received her BFA from Adelphi University and completed Cincinnati Playhouse’s Bruce E. Coyle Acting Internship. Recent credits: Skeleton Crew (Ensemble Theatre), The Ballad… (MFP Productions). Thank you so much to God, family, friends, mentors, and the TPTGW team! ernaisjacurry.com. @ernaisjacurry.

MICHAEL KUROWSKI (Dennis). Chicago performer for almost ten years. Recent credits: Crutchie (Newsies, Paramount Theatre), Jerry Lee Lewis (MDQ, Theatre at the Center), and Once (national tour). Screen: “Chicago Med,” Lovecraft Country, Gran Torino, and the upcoming series “Ripple Effects.” Musician in his free time and father all the time. Love to Mary, JoAnn, and Paonessa Talent. MichaelKurowski.net.

MATT MUELLER (Chris). Broadway: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Regional: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Lyric Repertory Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, and multiple productions of Woody Guthrie’s American Song. Television: “Chicago Justice” (NBC). Film: Popper Baxton’s Sickly Stew. 

KELLY O’SULLIVAN (Sandra) is an actor, writer, and director. Theatre: Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Writers, among many others. Film/TV: two seasons of USA’s “Sirens;” features Cha Cha Real Smooth, The Graduates, Henry Gambles’ Birthday Party, and South by Southwest Award winner Saint Frances, for which she was the screenwriter/lead actor. 

JARRED WEBB (Max). Credits include The Brothers Size (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Julius Caesar (Prague Shakespeare Company), The Death of Kings (Southwest Shakespeare Company, AZ), and the world premiere of The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 (LaunchPad, UCSB). Education: BFA, University of California, Santa Barbara. 

JONAH D. WINSTON (Robert) is overjoyed to join TPTGW family! He earned his BA in Theatre from Butler University and furthered his education at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia. Jonah has performed at The Goodman, Lyric Opera, Cleveland Playhouse, and The Mercury Theatre Chicago. Commercial/TV credits: “Chicago Fire,” Skittles, McDonald's, and more! He is represented by Gray Talent Group.

CAROLINE CHU (u/s Annie, Sandra) is thrilled to be part of TPTGW! Credits: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens, First Floor Theater, Jackalope Theatre, Raven Theatre. Graduate of Northwestern University and company member at First Floor Theater. Massive thanks to Stewart Talent and the most supportive family and friends in the world. @carolinechu_

DREW JOHNSON (u/s Robert, Jonathan, Trevor, Dennis, Max) Chicago: Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Flamingo & Decatur (Block St Theatre Co); Turtle (Redtwist Theatre); Crimes of the Heart (Step Up Productions). Regional: Shakespeare in Love, Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical (TheatreSquared). TV: Chicago Fire; Chicago P.D. Education: M.F.A. in Acting (University of Arkansas).

RUSSELL MERNAGH (u/s Chris, Max, Dennis, Robert, Jonathan) is thrilled to be a part of TPTGW. Favorite Chicago credits include Ride the Cyclone and The Comedy of Errors at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Rock of Ages at Drury Lane Theatre and Wonderful Town at The Goodman. Russell studied acting at Western Michigan University and is represented by Stewart Talent. 

BRENANN STACKER (u/s Sandra, Annie) Regional Theater: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, TheatreSquared, Williamstown Theatre Festival. TV/Film: “Chicago Med,” “Sirens,” “Easy,” Banana Season. Education/Training: BA Drama Tufts University, O’Neill National Theater Institute, Russian State Institute of Performing Arts and The School at Steppenwolf. Much gratitude to Stewart Talent, my family and Ezrie.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Performances are on Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 PM (with a Wednesday matinee at 2:00 PM on December 22, December 29, January 5, January 12, and January 26), Saturdays at 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 2:00 PM (with 7:30 PM evening shows on December 19, December 26, January 2 and January 23). There will be one Monday performance on December 27 at 7:30 p.m. There will be one performance on Friday, December 24 at 2:00 p.m. There will be no shows on Saturday, December 25 and Saturday, January 1.

TICKET INFORMATION

Individual tickets for THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG are on sale now and start at $30 with a select number of premium tickets available. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing GroupSales@BroadwayInChicago.com. For more information, visit  www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

ABOUT BROADWAY IN CHICAGO

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 21 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the  Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, Auditorium Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway  Playhouse at Water Tower Place.





Until further notice, audience members will need to be masked and fully vaccinated with FDA authorized vaccine. For those with exemptions or unable to be vaccinated (including children) you need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter our Broadway In Chicago Theatres.  Audience members must show proof of vaccination (either through electronic copy, photocopy, or photo) along with a photo ID and valid ticket at their time of entry into the theatre. “Fully vaccinated” means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 Vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Children 5 – 11 will be allowed admittance with one vaccine that was administered 14 days prior to performance.  Tests that are accepted are either PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time or antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance start time. No home tests are accepted and due to COVID 19 protocol children under 2 are not allowed into the theatre.

All Broadway In Chicago schedules, productions, and protocols for attendance will continue to be reviewed as further guidance and recommendations are provided by the CDC, Illinois State, and Chicago Departments of Health. For the latest health and safety procedures and guidelines, visit BroadwayInChicago.com/COVID19.


For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.


$25 Digital Lottery tickets for The Play That Goes Wrong
A digital lottery for a limited number of $25 seats will be held for the performance of The Play That Goes Wrong. Seat locations and the number of tickets awarded by the lottery are always subject to availability.



What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby? You’d get THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, Broadway & London’s award-winning smash comedy! Called “A GUT-BUSTING HIT” (The New York Times) and “THE FUNNIEST PLAY BROADWAY HAS EVER SEEN” (HuffPost), this classic murder mystery is chock-full of mishaps and madcap mania delivering “A RIOTOUS EXPLOSION OF COMEDY” (Daily Beast). Welcome to opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor where things are quickly going from bad to utterly disastrous. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines), it’s “TONS OF FUN FOR ALL AGES” (HuffPost) and “COMIC GOLD” (Variety) – sure to bring down the house!



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