Everything wrong is right on target in the comedic farce known as “The Play That Goes Wrong,” now in its Hawaii premiere engagement at the Manoa Valley Theatre.

It’s a maniacal, madcap mélange – a play-within-a-play, to add to the mirth – that can be sometimes confusing, chaotic, and contagious, so let’s just say this controlled silliness is quite seductive, and sensational … so much so that the show’s been extended through June 4 at MVT.

Be advised: There are two playbills, one fictional and one actual, to sort out the obvious from the frivolous. The premise is this: The mythical Cornley University Drama Society, is staging “The Murder at Haversham Manor, but lacks proper rehearsals, so some dialogue is screwed up and parts of the set fall.

In other words, the play is already happening and you don’t know it. That’s part of the m.o., so if something’s amiss, it could be real, or planned.

This is the gallery of actors, featured in “The Play That Goes Wrong.”

It’s part Sherlock Holmes, part Agatha Christie, part Saturday Night Live, with lots of setups and you won’t know it till you get it. And if you’re familiar with “Noises Off,” expect similar raucous, rabid behavior and action.

The work, by Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer, is directed by Rob Duval, who demands and gets comic control from his versatile cast. Michelle Bisbee’s inspired set is rich in precision and potency, since much of it comes apart at the precise moment, requiring impeccable timing to avoid injury, and the production is lit with superb timing by Janine Myers.

With so much live action all over the stage, it’s important to hear all the chatter and buzz, so thanks to Lock Lynch’s sound design.

What matters, and clearly is the motif of “Wrong,” is the fact that this is absurdity beyond a basic comedy, and the ensemble of actors and pretenders require to retain indefatigable timing, which enables the actors to shine, at different times for different reasons.

Even the furniture gets laughs; ditto, a mantel that keeps falling; and the photo of a dog on the wall has its giddy  moment, too.

I chortled and chuckled so often, I can truthfully say that I can’t recall which actor did what, but can offer generous praise and applause for Shannon Winpenny, Alan Shelphard, Jeff Andrews, John D’Aversa, Andrew Baker, Matthew Miller, Brett Williams, Tiger Tam, Theo and Al Reyes. Take a bow, gang.

 “The Play That Goes Wrong” premiered in London in 2012, and earned an Olivier for Best New Comedy. Its Broadway debut was in 2017 and the production transferred to the off-Broadway New World Stages on W. 50th St. in New York, where it still is playing. And a local note – one of the New York producers staging this one is Kevin McCollum, the Tony-winning producer of such shows as “Rent,” “Avenue Q,” “In the Heights” and “Something Rotten.” Surely, he’d be proud to learn that MVT is staging the show, too. …


 ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

A musical by by Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer

Where: Manoa Valley Theatre

When: Extended through June 4, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday  and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Tickets:  $24 to $45 at or (808) 988-6131

Broadway grosses, for week ending May 28

With the 2023 Tony Awards coming up June 11 in New York City,

last week was the finale for the active Broadway community.

And “The Lion King” still rules in the weekly gross list:

Here are the Top 7 by grosses, for the week ending May 28:

1 – “The Lion King,” $2.245 million.

2 – “Hamilton,”  $1.894 million.

3 – “Sweeney Todd,” $1.882 million.

4 – “Wicked,” $1.825 million.

5—“MJ,” $1.682 million.

6 – “Funny Girl,” $1.583 million.

7 – “Aladdin,” with $1.453 million.

Here’s the official compilation, courtesy The Broadway League:

& JULIETSTEPHEN SONDHEIM THEATRE$1,123,714.60-$61,919.30$142.44$323.007,8891,0268096.11%-1.79%
ALADDINNEW AMSTERDAM THEATRE$1,453,453.50$69,692.00$111.76$227.5013,0051,7278094.13%-1.38%
BAD CINDERELLAIMPERIAL THEATRE$351,163.48-$33,364.22$45.27$297.007,7571,3988069.36%0.99%
A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICALBROADHURST THEATRE$876,940.22-$212,898.02$125.24$347.507,0021,1528075.98%-6.91%
THE BOOK OF MORMONEUGENE O’NEILL THEATRE$1,040,043.30$4,575.20$126.68$0.008,2101,0668096.27%-1.76%
CAMELOTVIVIAN BEAUMONT THEATER$811,603.50-$39,798.50$112.50$249.007,2141,0478086.13%-4.40%
CHICAGOAMBASSADOR THEATRE$701,359.08-$17,023.68$96.20$237.007,2911,0808084.39%-2.22%
A DOLL’S HOUSEHUDSON THEATRE$847,080.00-$56,236.00$119.02$299.007,1179468094.04%-2.55%
FAT HAMAMERICAN AIRLINES THEATRE$391,432.60-$1,603.20$74.08$247.005,2847048093.82%1.05%
FUNNY GIRLAUGUST WILSON THEATRE$1,583,257.00$434,871.50$181.75$0.008,7111,2198089.33%21.66%
GOOD NIGHT, OSCARBELASCO THEATRE$550,970.34-$171,170.76$130.25$297.004,2301,0227059.13%-12.83%
GREY HOUSELYCEUM THEATRE$413,864.50$61,915.80$76.87$237.005,3848960875.11%-10.48%
HADESTOWNWALTER KERR THEATRE$771,642.10$359.85$106.30$0.007,2599188098.84%-0.25%
HAMILTONRICHARD RODGERS THEATRE$1,894,229.00-$12,375.00$177.55$449.0010,6691,32480100.73%-0.09%
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILDLYRIC THEATRE$1,371,744.40$179,787.30$129.25$349.0010,6131,6228081.79%-3.04%
KIMBERLY AKIMBOBOOTH THEATRE$542,078.92$1,226.57$90.72$277.005,9757738096.62%0.36%
LEOPOLDSTADTLONGACRE THEATRE$555,823.65-$42,777.25$108.92$347.005,1031,0758059.34%-6.95%
LIFE OF PIGERALD SCHOENFELD THEATRE$501,232.55-$29,253.35$77.64$277.006,4569788082.52%-2.79%
THE LION KINGMINSKOFF THEATRE$2,245,982.00$101,265.00$177.18$199.0012,6761,6968093.43%0.23%
MJ THE MUSICALNEIL SIMON THEATRE$1,682,452.00-$490.00$153.70$250.0010,9461,3878098.65%-0.58%
MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICALAL HIRSCHFELD THEATRE$1,355,398.30-$49,820.45$134.08$0.0010,1091,3008097.20%-1.73%
NEW YORK, NEW YORKST. JAMES THEATRE$939,859.25-$213,265.25$85.89$0.0010,9431,6598082.45%-7.14%
ONCE UPON A ONE MORE TIMEMARQUIS THEATRE$606,278.50$24,621.00$62.57$297.009,6901,6040786.30%12.81%
PARADEBERNARD B. JACOBS THEATRE$1,108,120.05$95,670.10$140.96$327.007,8611,0208096.34%-1.49%
PETER PAN GOES WRONGETHEL BARRYMORE THEATRE$538,877.00$56,129.26$89.23$197.006,0391,0478072.10%4.81%
PRIMA FACIEJOHN GOLDEN THEATRE$949,793.76-$23,031.98$134.78$294.007,0478029097.63%-1.22%
SHUCKEDNEDERLANDER THEATRE$809,278.30$29,292.20$88.75$179.009,1191,1718097.34%-1.17%
THE SIGN IN SIDNEY BRUSTEIN’S WINDOWJAMES EARL JONES THEATRE$532,853.00$11,033.48$87.71$337.006,0751,0698071.04%-2.65%
SIX: THE MUSICALLENA HORNE THEATRE$1,044,247.00$15,227.00$137.17$249.007,6131,0318092.30%1.09%
SOME LIKE IT HOTSAM S. SHUBERT THEATRE$1,006,252.88-$150,120.77$104.51$257.009,6281,4488083.11%-8.40%
SUMMER, 1976SAMUEL J. FRIEDMAN THEATRE$511,945.00$12,556.00$111.10$319.004,6086378090.42%-1.55%
SWEENEY TODDLUNT-FONTANNE THEATRE$1,882,084.00$14,716.00$178.08$399.0010,5691,49870100.79%1.09%
THE THANKSGIVING PLAYHELEN HAYES THEATER$267,587.50$24,553.00$80.67$223.003,3175818071.36%3.35%
WICKEDGERSHWIN THEATRE$1,825,756.00$146,812.00$123.79$275.0014,7491,8678098.77%2.72%

And that’s Show. Biz. …

Leave a Reply