The Play That Goes Wrong - Syracuse Stage
Extended until May 8
WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY)
The Play that Goes Wrong was a huge hit in London, where it is still running. Then it moved to Broadway, where it was also a hit. It is now off-Broadway and seems to have a long life ahead of it. It should. It’s amazingly inventive and flat out hysterical.
Syracuse stage artistic director Robert Hupp is at the helm, and as in past productions, he is fantastic at comedy. The complicated shenanigans in the play are handled deftly and with expert timing. The play the fictional production company is trying to produce is an old-fashioned British murder mystery set in one of those country estates with a study, library, fireplace, grandfather clock, secret passageways, and a garden. You get the picture; but, as the title announces, everything goes wrong-in spectacularly funny ways.
The play is reminiscent of another great British Farce, about theatrical mayhem, Noises Off by Michael Fryan. Syracuse Stage produced Noises Off a few years ago to great success; not surprisingly also directed by Robert Hupp, whose ability for the zany is matched by his ability for crispness and clarity. Playwrights Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer see the stage as a big playground or amusement park, yet they deftly weave structure into both the fictional play and the real play that goes wrong.
The entire cast is superb and undoubtedly in great physical shape as their pratfalls, swings from wires, dangling bodies and other physical feats seem effortless. Their timing is genius. The play builds in ridiculousness and the absurdity of what goes wrong and goes to unexpected and hilarious places. Without giving away spoilers, how does a grandfather clock end up on a sofa? Wouldn’t you like to know?
I rarely have had such a joyous time at the theater. In a world of “too long shows” The Play That Goes Wrong, clocks in at less than two hours, and every minute of it put a smile on my face. The frivolous fun is a great way to come back to theater after the pandemic.
I cannot recommend this production enough. Go. Go NOW!
Play ends its run on May 8
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