Thursday, December 6, 2018

REVIEW: The Play That Goes Wrong at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre Through December 16th, 2018

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Fantastically Fun Farce, 
The Play That Goes Wrong Will Leave You 
In Stitches

My 17 year old son, Dugan, and I caught the press opening of The Play That Goes Wrong at Chicago's iconic Oriental Theatre last night, and I can attest, my abs are still aching from laughing throughout the whole show. This cast is adept at physical comedy as well as witty wordplay, slapstick, and negotiating a deathtrap set with humor and finesse. Like classic farce, numerous unusual entry and exit ways are used and physical obstacles abound. 

The cleverly constructed set... or should I say deconstructed, is a joy to see in action, and this intrepid cast works the space well. The Play That Goes Wrong is a fast paced, bumbling buffet of buffoonery that turns every actor's nightmare into energetic entertainment. What begins as minor set malfunctions, missed lighting and sound cues, late entrances, misplaced props, and bungled lines, soon escalate to major mishaps. Multiple characters are knocked out or left bleeding, poisoned, or beset by falling set pieces. 

There are fires, duals, electrical problems, combative leading ladies, runaway dogs, Duran Duran, and that cure all for everything... duct tape. The escalating gags are a hoot, even when you see them coming. 

We love the premise of building a whole show where everything goes wrong, and this one lives up to its name, before the lights even dim. The action begins during pre-show, when the house lights are still up, so put down your cell phone and watch hilarity ensue. Errors abound, on stage and off! When we first saw the upside down marquee show listing and the Playbill type setting screw up, we were hooked! 

There's never been a Broadway touring show so wrong that's done so right. The Play That Goes Wrong is nothing short of brilliant. Highly recommended. 

Broadway In Chicago is thrilled that the national tour of the Tony Award-winning hit Broadway comedy THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG opens December 5th for a limited two- week engagement at Broadway In Chicago’s Oriental Theatre (24 W Randolph St) through Sunday, December 16, 2018.

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!

Co-written by Mischief Theatre 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’ who are 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.

The Broadway production of THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG opened at the Lyceum Theatre on April 2, 2017. The show, which was slated to close on Broadway in August of this year, will extend its run due to popular demand through January 6, 2019. By then, the Broadway production will have played 27 previews and 745 performances, making it the 2nd longest running show in the history of the Lyceum Theatre. THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG received a Tony Award for Best Set Design,’s Audience Choice Award for Best Play, and the Theater Fans Choice Award for Best Play.

Awarded the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, 2014 WhatsOnStage Best New Comedy and 2015 UK BroadwayWorld Best New Play Awards, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is now in its fourth year in the West End, is currently on a 30 week UK tour and playing on six continents. The producers have avoided Antarctica for fear of a frosty reception.

It is a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a play which 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 2 million people around the world.

Mischief Theatre, the Olivier Award-winning theatre company led by Artistic Director Henry Lewis and Company Director Jonathan Sayer, was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief Theatre performs across the UK and internationally with improvised and original scripted work.

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG tour is directed by Matt DiCarlo with original Broadway direction by Mark Bell, featuring set design by Nigel Hook, lighting design by Ric Mountjoy, sound design by Andy Johnson and costume design by Roberto Surace.

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is produced on Broadway 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 or follow THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @BwayGoesWrong

Tuesdays at 7:30PM
Wednesdays at 2PM and 7:30PM
Thursdays at 7:30PM
Fridays at 7:30PM
Saturdays at 2:00PM and 8:00PM
Sundays at 2:00PM and 7:30PM (no evening performance on Sunday, December 16)

Individual tickets are on sale now and range in price from $25-$98 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 For more information, visit

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 18 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, Oriental Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. For more information, visit

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