Review Roundup: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at The Ahmanson in Los Angeles; What Did The Critics Think?
The national tour of "The Play That Goes Wrong," the hilarious Tony Award-winning hit Broadway comedy is now open at the Ahmanson Theatre last night! The tour features Scott Cote as Dennis, Peyton Crim as Robert, Brandon J. Ellis as Trevor, Angela Grovey as Annie, Ned Noyes as Max, Jamie Ann Romero as Sandra, Evan Alexander Smith as Chris and Yaegel T. Welch as Jonathan. The cast also features Blair Baker, Jacqueline Jarrold, Sid Solomon and Michael Thatcher.
Tickets for "The Play That Goes Wrong" are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or by visiting the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $30 - $135 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, 90012.
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Don Grigware, BroadwayWorld: No one carries off a farce better than the Brits. It seems like they invented it just as we Americans invented the musical. Mischief Theatre first presented The Play That Goes Wrong in 2015 and then it came to Broadway in 2017. Now it is on tour, currently onstage at the Ahmanson until August 11. I cannot think of a better word to describe it than INSANITY. Most farces have slamming doors, pratfalls galore, double entendres, and mistaken identities. But when the slapstick turns into entire sets collapsing, as well as actors moving about helter skelter - including a walking corpse - in nonstop fashion? The Play That Goes Wrong is unlike any other farce you may have seen. To say you will laugh uproarisouly is an understatement. Naturally, it will appeal to all actors and theatre lovers who know that live, anything can happen onstage. The Play That Goes Wrong carries it to the furthest extreme.
Charles McNulty, LA Times: This tour production, directed by Matt DiCarlo (from the original Broadway direction by Mark Bell), is machine-like. The breakneck staging is a logistical miracle, but the characterizations lack the clumsy human vitality that made Richard Bean's "One Man, Two Guvnors" so unforgettably hilarious on Broadway. "The Play That Goes Wrong" amuses with its pranks and pratfalls, especially for those whose brains are sitting under an umbrella on the beach. But the delight becomes something of a chore as the antics stretch on to the point that the mystery of the whodunit becomes a tiresome afterthought. Still, there's no denying the hilarity of a troupe that unfailingly turns can-do into can-don't.
Dany Margolies, Los Angeles Daily News: On the deliberate, scripted side, lights come up too early, doors stick, props get misplaced, swords snap in half, actors get knocked out, scenery plunges, and these amateur performers don't know how to adeptly cover. Body parts get stepped on and lines of dialogue get stepped on, and it's never clear which feels worse to the actors involved. But problematically, the audience has no reason to care about those "college" actors trying to put on a play. None seems to be in it for those right reasons that so many great actors enumerate: keeping the world's great stories alive, changing our minds on important issues, perhaps prompting us to take action in our lives or the lives of those around us, or just plain entertaining us for a few hours.
Erin Conley, On Stage and Screen: Directed on tour by Matt DiCarlo, the cast is required to be at the top of their game, given the specific timing and advanced physical comedy the piece demands. Whether pratfalling or catching props thrown from across the stage, the disarray is immaculately choreographed. Of course, some jokes overstay their welcome, and if slapstick is not your cup of tea, you may not find certain bits laugh-out-loud funny, but the vast majority of the opening night audience sure seemed to. The standout of the cast is Noyes, who is just hilarious as Max, who gets adorably proud of himself whenever the audience responds positively to something he's doing, resulting in him going more and more over-the-top in search of more laughs. Jonathan (Yaegel T. Welch), who plays the actor tasked with playing a dead body, gets some of the most memorable moments of the show because he's not so great at acting, well, dead. The best jokes are the ones that are finally paid off after being set up very early on-for example, when the actor who keeps showing up early for a big entrance finally nails it, the crowd went wild.