Kid Review of The Play That Goes Wrong at Lyceum Theater
by Waverly W., 10 years old, and Abby S., 11 years old
The Mom here!  When going to a show on Broadway, you usually expect the best of everything, and usually, if not always, that’s exactly what you get.  Until now.  The Play That Goes Wrong turns everything you expect from a Broadway Show upside down (sometimes, literally).
This play is a hysterical disaster before it even begins – within minutes of entering the theater, we noticed that it was a bit chaotic as The “Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society” frantically tries to prepare for the opening night of their biggest production to date, the 1920s murder mystery ‘Murder at Haversham Manor’, with crew members desperate to find a lost dog who, I was told by Lighting & Sound Operator Trevor Watson as we made our way to our seats, may or may not be good with kids. I immediately thought that this play, if not the dog, would be just perfect (or perfectly imperfect) for kids (and adults), and I was right…or maybe I should say I was not wrong! And we hadn’t even seen nothin’ yet…

Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

While the crew rushed around the audience trying to prepare their set and find that dog (and a missing Duran Duran CD), we had a few minutes to check out the playbill, which is the most fun playbill I’ve ever read.  Its “Letter From the President,” assures its readers that this troupe is most definitely ready for “The Broadway.” Written by Cornley University Drama Society’s Director Chris Bean (whom we encountered upon entering the theater and did not break character when I asked him a question about filming our little video – when I realized this as he took the stage and addressed us for his Broadway “Day-boo” it made the encounter even funnier), it provides audience members with some very interesting background information that really sets the comedic tone as you’re waiting for the show to begin. This “playbill within a playbill,” along with all the pre-show mishaps, is a reason to get to the theater early so make sure  you give yourself time! You may even help the very worried Trevor find the dog…or the CD…

Trevor (Jason Bowen) Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Waverly here! Every Broadway play is practically perfect, right? WRONG. Let me tell you about the play that goes wrong – it’s called…The Play That Goes Wrong!  I was so excited to see this play – I expected it to “go wrong,” but I didn’t know just how wrong it could possibly go! Literally everything goes wrong from start to finish, or like my mom described, it goes wrong from even before it starts! These poor actors sure had a lot of challenges to face while putting on their first big production (after such “hits” as ‘Cat’ and ‘James and the Peach’), but they stuck it out and showed us all that it’s not always fun if everything is perfect – this show was far from perfect, and that’s what made it perfect!

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

This play is a mystery and a comedy wrapped up in one, and it is sooooooooooooooooooooooo funny!  I could write more “O’s” but I think you get the point! I honestly don’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my entire life (Note from Mom – I was thinking the same thing during the show. It’s true – she has never laughed that hard, ever, and I wish I could have taken a picture of her laughing! Only problem was that every time I looked at her to make sure she wasn’t going to actually die of laughter, I would miss something funny! This show is literally a laugh a second…)

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

OK, let me try to tell you a little bit about what is going on here.  You already know that this theater group is putting on their first big show on Broadway…and they are NOT ready for it! It’s a murder mystery that I guess you could say is “seriously funny! “They are all trying to figure out who killed Charles Haversham, but even Charles Haversham can’t just act like he’s dead! How hard could that be?? Every single character is hysterical and they each have very unique personalities.  As Abby’s mom said, “They all get their chance to shine.”  But they don’t exactly shine for their acting skills!! I saw the pictures we have here before the show and was wondering what that clock had to do with anything…then when it was time for that scene, I could not believe what was happening! You would never guess – you seriously HAVE to see it for yourself to know what I’m talking about.
I can tell you what goes wrong in this play, but I’m not going to! I could never make it as funny as it was to be there watching, and of course I don’t want to spoil anything for you.  I guarantee that you and everyone you are with will LAUGH HYSTERICALLY, and if you happen to be drinking at any point, I would be very careful because you will spit out that drink right on the back of whoever’s head is in front of you.  Hmm, that may be a hint.  Also, I will tell you that The Inspector (Chris Bean/Mark Evans) is very serious about this play, so don’t let him catch you laughing! And wait until you see the scene where Florence (Sandra Wilkinson/Mara Davi) and her hysterically funny understudy (Stage Manager Annie Twilloil/Tocarra Cash) go at it – neither one of them want to leave the stage! Kids my age should definitely see this show so they can laugh while trying to solve a mystery. As soon as it was over, I asked my mom, “Can we see it again?” I’m serious, it was that funny, and I definitely want to go back before January 6th, when it “must clothes” on Broadway!

Florence and The Inspector/Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Abby here! I was really excited to see this play – I saw ads for it and knew it was going to be funny, but I didn’t know just how funny it was going to be! I loved it right from the start, when the Stage Manager Annie came down the aisle trying to hide behind a big piece of scenery! You never see that on Broadway! Nobody is ready for this show right before it is time to begin and that made us laugh so hard! Waverly was in tears.  In my notes I wrote, “Very funny – repeat millions of times!” This is a very, very, very, very (repeat a million times) play that you should definitely see with your parents!Back to Mom! I learned early on in my life as a mom that despite my best efforts at planning the perfect “whatever,” nothing ever goes exactly as planned. This play will remind you that when things go wrong, as they often do, you can still laugh and enjoy the journey.  Or at least enjoy the show, which we did, immensely.  Go see it. You seriously cannot go wrong.
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