Buckle up for a bumpy ride courtesy of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society as they deliver an unconventional whodunit production that has an inspector engraving notes on a crime scene into a flower pot and not to mention that mysterious, mangled, and empty dog cage! If this all seems preposterous, that is just a glimpse into the hilarity that ensues at Haversham Manor in The Play That Goes Wrong.
Directed fervently and methodically by Fred Sullivan Jr., The Lyric Stage Company presents The Play That Goes Wrong by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields continuing through December 18. This semi-interactive show that is not just limited to the stage space is approximately two hours with one intermission. Click here for more information and tickets.
The Play That Goes Wrong is a British farce that first hit the London Stage in 2012 before it went on to make its way around the world. This award-winning whodunit play within a play became so popular, it bore BBC’s The Goes Wrong Show that just completed its second season last year.
After some interactive, pre-show comedic antics by Alexa Cadete as resolute stagehand Annie, Michael Liebhauser’s warm and dry sense of humor as Director Chris sets the stage for what this enthusiastic and determined acting troupe has in store for its audience. What makes The Play That Goes Wrong particularly entertaining is just how well timed the cast must collaboratively be in order to make such auspicious theater.
From an unpredictable corpse portrayed with misguided panache by Dan Garcia to the various degrees of hysterics demonstrated by Cadete and Nora Eschenheimer as well as various cast members’ feigned composure under fire, The Play That Goes Wrong is a brilliant must see. Cadete as stagehand Annie and Mitch Kiliulis as baffled sound man Trevor are wonderful as they take the heat at times for guffaws from subtle to catastrophic in a perplexed malaise.
Wearing a dazzling smile adorned in an elegant and cascading dress, Eschenheimer as Sandra flails and flaunts with poise and pizzazz as she ardently attempts to portray Florence. She shares some frivolous moments and a gift for physical comedy with Marc Pierre as clever and sophisticated Max. Pierre’s melodramatic and smirking expressions make him a bit of a scene stealer while Dan Whelton demonstrates more propriety as Dennis depicts Butler Perkins. Whelton is sophisticated and shrewd if not for an occasional dialect stumble here and there, handled drolly as only a regal thespian can. Kelby T. Akin rounds out this cast delivering wit and gravitas as Robert contributes to the clever sight gags and a wealth of hilarious improvising takes on new meaning.
Costume designer Gail Astrid Buckley captures the essence of the British, upper crust atmosphere from various plaids to dapper suits including a signature Inspector trench coat while Peter Colao’s innovative and extraordinary set design brings in as many laughs as the cast’s humorous antics. Accompanied by Dewey Dellay’s spot on sound design and John Milinowski’s standout and suspenseful lighting, Haversham Manor’s elegant bookcase, classic wooden grandfather clock, a roaring fireplace, a functioning elevator, velvet sofa and a second floor study all seem to have a life of their own in this delightful show.
It is hands down among the funniest performances the Sleepless Critic has seen all year. Not only is the multi-layered direction intricate and perceptive, but each cast member’s razor sharp comedic chops rise to the occasion at times quite literally! The Play that Goes Wrong is a great way to let loose and enjoy a lighthearted production where flustered cheeks become the norm and to find out just how far this masterful group will go to for an uproarious good time.
The Lyric Stage Company presents The Play That Goes Wrong by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields continuing through December 18. This semi-interactive show that is not just limited to the stage space is approximately two hours with one intermission. Click here for more information and tickets.