DENVER (CBS4) – “The Play That Goes Wrong” is a madcap mystery in the vein of Monty Python, and the touring production is headed to Denver. The show goes up at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts March 5 – March 17.
A smash hit on Broadway and in London, “The Play That Goes Wrong” premiered in 2012, and won Best New Comedy at the 2015 Laurence Olivier Awards.
It’s set at the opening night of a play called “The Murder at Haversham Manor”, and everything that can go wrong does. The leading lady is unconscious, the corpse can’t play dead, and the actors trip over everything including their lines. The laughter comes rolling in.
“It’s two-hours of non-stop laughter, and I feel like people who come to this show have to know that. And it’s a play where you can basically leave your brain at the door because you don’t really need to think about anything, you just need to sit down, enjoy yourself, and you are,” said Scott Cote, an ensemble member in “The Play That Goes Wrong.”
“The Play That Goes Wrong” is a slapstick comedy, which means there is a cascading series of clumsy or violent actions or reactions that build to a laugh. In the very best slapstick, the character is sincere in his actions even if the outcome is unintended.
“Everyone is trying so hard to make it work. Their ultimate objective is, ‘We’ve still got to put on a good show. And no matter what’s happening over here, this is still going to be opening night, and we’re going to crush it,'” said Brandon J. Ellis of “The Play That Goes Wrong” touring production.
The physical comedy comes so fast and so furious that it takes a crack team of techs to make sure it all comes without a hitch.
“Every performance is a different flow, but our timing has to be specific to make everything as safe as possible,” said Jeff Norman, the Production Stage Manager.
“When we’re in the larger houses, we get waves of laughter, so it will roll over the first few rows , and then back, and then back, and then up, so it’s really great,” said Jamie Ann Romero, a cast member in “The Play That Goes Wrong.”
Romero is a Denver native. She grew up watching shows at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. She went to college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and it’s always been her dream to play the Buell Theatre.
“When I moved back to Denver after college, I had to drive by the Denver Center every day to go to my day job. And I started a mantra that every day I drove by I’d say, ‘I’m going to work there someday.’ And I have, and I’m coming back, and I’m so excited,” Romero told CBS4.