Friday, June 14, 2024

Review: Play Goes Wrong but that’s all right

Things are definitely going wrong in San Jose. And that’s okay. From the London-based Mischief Theatre company, The Play That Goes Wrong has reached The Stage and there it will stay until at least Dec. 17.

One must love slapstick and physical humor to enjoy this show in which the sets and actors crumble before our very eyes. And on purpose.

The stage is set to bring us a high-brow murder mystery but the pratfalls, people literally falling from above, actors being knocked “unconscious” and being pulled out a window to have the understudy go on with book in hand is just the beginning of the madcap hilarity of the show.

Having seen it on Broadway and being a fan of their other shows — Peter Pan Goes Wrong,  Christmas Carol Goes WrongThe Play About A Bank Robbery and The Magic Show Goes Wrong  — I had high expectations to see such low-brow humor at the cast of The Stage delivered.

Director Kenneth Kelleher and his production team did a masterful job, keeping in tact most of the staging of the pranks that made the Broadway and London versions so successful. When you play on Broadway, you might take more changes with settings and set-up because you’d expect to run for years. But when you’re a regional or touring production, shows are often scaled back as they only run a month or so. Kelleher held nothing back and demanded a lot of his cast.

When I saw two of my favorite local actors in the cast — Johnny Moreno and Keith Pinto — I knew we were in good hands. But the rest of the cast also entrusted their cast mates and director and allowed people to step on their hands, catch them from a call, sit on them, push them through a window – everything that physically and literally that can wrong with a show does.

The true definition of ensemble acting, all actors have moments to shine and are well-supported (literally and figuratively) but their cast mates. I must say though Sean Okuniewicz is very reminiscent of the actor who originated the part and Vivienne Truong is quite the scene stealer.

You must make a trip to San Jose to catch this show.

Get tickets at When done, do note The Show That Goes Wrong is streamable as are a few of their other productions.

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for and contributes to as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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