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BWW Review: So Wrong, It's Right- THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Broadway Playhouse

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This show combines perfectly timed prop and set mishaps with a wildly clumsy cast creating the perfect comedic storm.

BWW Review: So Wrong, It's Right- THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Broadway Playhouse

Book your next Botox session in advance because The Play that Goes Wrong is guaranteed to produce permanent laugh lines in all audience members. This incredible farce at Chicago's Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place is the perfect way to let go and truly escape both the drama and banality of everyday life. Though the humor largely centers around slapstick high jinks, this isn't your father's slip-on-a-banana-peel gag reel. Instead, this show combines perfectly timed prop and set mishaps with a wildly clumsy cast creating the perfect comedic storm.

The show opens with a speech from Chris (Matt Mueller), the leader of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society as he introduces the 1920's murder mystery his amateur crew is about to perform. Laden with self-deprecating revelations about the competence (or lack thereof) of his motley crew, the introduction warms up the audience for what is to come. Mueller's performance as the haggard director/actor/jack-of-all-trades keeping the show from (literally) falling apart is pure hilarity. His perpetual frustration with everyone and everything combined with his resilience to get the job done really anchors him as a distinctive figure in the show.

BWW Review: So Wrong, It's Right- THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Broadway Playhouse I never thought there was a way to play a dead man in a comical way until Joseph Anthony Byrd's portrayal of Jonathan, the subject of the play-within-a-play's murder mystery. His penchant for untimely exits and his inability to be inconspicuous completely won the audience over- all without saying one word! Playing his brother Max, the ultra-goofy Jarred Web couldn't help but be the center of attention as he showed off to the audience every time he received positive feedback- which was quite frequent. He acted quite well in this role of a noticeably poor actor, perpetually breaking the fourth wall, exaggerating movements and flashing a toothy grin all the while.

BWW Review: So Wrong, It's Right- THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Broadway Playhouse Sandra, the love interest at the center of the show's love triangle is played by the radiantly spunky Kelly O'Sullivan. Though she excels in her initial role as the two-timing vixen, her real star power comes out in the latter half of the show as her role of starlet is threatened by another cast member. O'sullivan's ability to unravel to the point of hysteria will keep your eyes fixed on her throughout the show (though a significant wardrobe malfunction does help).

In the role of Sandra's brother, Jonah D. Winston gives a powerful portrayal of Robert. Winston's commanding stage presence, booming deep voice and no-nonsense attitude is quite formidable. But by the time the second act rolls around, his tough exterior gives way after something else gives way (I still don't know how Winston could execute this scene without laughter- or loss of limb). Playing a less serious and less competent character, Michael Kurowski nailed the role of Dennis, the traditional yet bumbling butler. Dennis' inability to remember or pronounce certain words was a constant source of amusement during the performance.

One of the best parts of The Play that Goes Wrong is the inclusion of the play within a play's crew as central figures in the story. Playing the role of Annie, the show's stage manager, was Ernaisja Curry. Curry's transformation as Annie was truly delicious to watch. Through the first half of the play she is dutifully scrambling to help the cast avoid calamity, Annie really starts to shine when she needs to step in for another actor unexpectedly. Initially unwilling, we see Annie develop a taste for the limelight which she is loathe to relinquish. Curry has the audience in hysterics and her vice grip on her new role tightens, and her creative liberties spiral out of control. Colton Adams plays another crew member, the easily distracted Trevor. Whether he's taking a selfie in the sound booth or transporting a grandfather clock, Adams brings to life this likable though flawed character.

Though the cast of The Play that Goes Wrong is nothing short of magnificent, it's the management of the set that makes you scratch your head thinking How DID they do that? Making a show seem as though its full of mistakes is quite a calculated technical feat where timing is absolutely key, and was executed with exquisite perfection. Everything seemed to go wrong in exactly the right way!

Bring your kids, your date, your grandmother- anyone who has a sense of humor- to The Play that Goes Wrong as soon as possible. Your funny bone will thank you later.

The Play that Goes Wrong runs through January 30, 2022. Tickets can be purchased at the Broadway in Chicago website.


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From This Author Kathleen Anwar