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Review: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Does Everything Right at B Street Theatre

Perilous Pranks Performed Through September 10

By: Aug. 16, 2023
Review: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Does Everything Right at B Street Theatre  Image
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You may have heard that back in the 20th century a guy by the name of Edward Murphy famously said, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Pessimistic? Maybe. Accurate? Definitely, as proven in B Street Theatre’s side-splitting rendition of The Play That Goes Wrong. This award-winning comedy written by members of the aptly named Mischief Theatre Company is a play within a play about things that go, well, wrong.

The Play That Goes Wrong introduces the fictional Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, who has taken over the Sutter Theatre at the Sofia to present their adaptation of “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” It’s the first time that the Society has had enough actors to fully cast a play, having been relegated in the past to perform abbreviated versions of classic favorites in the form of “Two Sisters,” “James and the Peach,” and, my personal favorite, “Cat.” It’s The Mousetrap meets Monty Python, as a brilliantly deadpan Mike DiSalvo invades the persona of Inspector Carter, who tries to maintain order and find out who did it in this slapstick whodunit. The hapless victim is Manor owner Charles Haversham (John Lamb), whose corpse just can’t seem to keep still. Who wanted Charles dead? Could it have been his fiancée, the flighty Florence (Stephanie Altholz)? His clumsy brother, Cecil (Jason Kuykendall)? Perkins (Amy Kelly), the linguistically challenged butler who stands to inherit everything? It certainly couldn’t be Trevor (Greg Alexander), the Bon Jovi-loving sound operator. Nor could it be the stage manager, Annie (Tara Sissom), whose monotone disinterest morphs into an obsessed fervor with the spotlight. That would leave Thomas (Dave Pierini), who would never harm his dearest friend. A lot of twists, turns, injuries, and laughs later, the crew finally nabs the culprit in a delightfully shocking conclusion.

The entire cast navigates the relentless (and hilarious) dangers and demanding physical comedy with impressive agility and humor. Scenic design by Samantha Reno and a set that defies expectations (and gravity) provide a continual source of delight and amusement as floors collapse, mantles fall, and disaster looms around every corner. You won’t want to miss this merry mimicry of mischief as the B Street Theatre continues its steady stream of perfection in performance through the 2023 season.

The Play That Goes Wrong does everything right at the B Street Theatre through September 10. Tickets may be purchased online at, at the Box Office at 2700 Capitol Avenue, or by telephone at (916) 443-5300.

Photo credit: Rudy Meyers


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