Review: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Fulton Theatre

This show is prfect!!!

By: Jan. 22, 2023
Review: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Fulton Theatre
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Fulton's production of The Play That Goes Wrong does everything right! This hilarious nine performer show on the main stage includes broken sets, forgotten lines, missed cues, and spit takes...many, many spit takes.

The Play That Goes Wrong is an amazing night of theater for audience members of all ages. At my performance, I overheard a probable great grandmother say that it reminded her fondly of The Carol Burnett Show. There were also a number of youngsters in the audience, and their high pitch giggles were infectious. I think this show is the perfect introduction to live theater for the majority of kids.

The gist of the show is that it is a Agatha Christie type murder mystery being performed by a bunch of terribly inept actors. The "plot" of the play really doesn't matter, and I couldn't tell you who was committing crimes nor why, and that's just fine. If you want an intricate and rewarding murder mystery, watch a Columbo rerun instead.

The under-appreciated irony of this show is that it takes an immense amount of time, rehearsal, planning and talent to perform something so bad. Everyone involved needs to be "competently incompetent".

Every one of the nine actors performed with sincere conviction and immense energy. Favorites included Curt Dale Clark as the dimwitted Inspector, E. Faye Butler as a stagehand begrudgingly thrust into the spotlight, and Nathaniel Hackmann as a corpse who just won't stay dead.

The complex, behind the scenes work (literally) of each crew member deserves specific recognition. The program lists the following individuals as crew-Dana Landis, Matty Vasquez, Tyler Horn, Chris Hoffman, Griffin Allen, Karen Check, Claire, Molitoris, Tara Fontanes, Cameron Wright, Deb Bielek, and Liz Kershenbaum.

Czerton Lim is credited as scenic designer and deserves kudos for a set that had to be aesthetically pleasing and unusually sturdy.

Director, Marc Robin's gets energetic performances from every actor. The number of "bits" that this show has and the necessary rehearsal and timing needed to perform them all in a humorous and safe manner is a testament to Robins's talent.

One small criticism is that sometimes the gags get repetitive or predictable. After, what seems like the 17th time, drinking, then spray-spitting the "poison" loses some of its humor. Similarly, by the second act, I was doing a mental checklist to figure out what pieces of scenery had yet to comically fall off of the wall. The repetition loses a little bit of the surprise, and the unexpected is what often makes us laugh the hardest.

Congratulations to the Fulton on bringing this big budget farce to Central Pennsylvania. The Play That Goes Wrong is a Looney Tunes cartoon come to life. Bring your whole family to enjoy its' slapstick and silliness.


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