Yes, it comes from London’s West End with a title that all but waves a red flag at critics. And yes, the lead producer took a similar risk with the popular but Tony-challenged musical Something Rotten! And yes, it sounds perilously like Michael Frayn’s Noises Off. Nevertheless, the spring transfer of The Play That Goes Wrong will perch at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre, having won the 2015 Olivier Award for best new comedy, courtesy of a producing team led by Kevin McCollum (Something Rotten!, Hand To God, In The Heights, Rent) and, in his Broadway producing debut, J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, etc.). The Mischief Theatre comedy’s producing team also includes Kenny Wax, Stage Presence Ltd. and Catherine Schreiber.
Set to begin previews March 9 at the Shubert Organization-owned house and open April 2, the comedy co-written by Mischief makers Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields “introduces The ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’
who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery,,” according to a statement announcing the show, “but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong…does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all the odds to get to their final curtain call.”
The creative team is led by director Mark Bell, with set design by Nigel Hook, lighting by Ric Mountjoy, sound by Andy Johnson and costumes by Roberto Surace. The show is coming with its original cast intact.
“When I saw The Play That Goes Wrong on the West End, I hadn’t laughed that hard — seen something as preposterously absurd or wonderfully hilarious — in ages,” Abrams said in the announcement. “To be part of the team bringing this inspired comedy to Broadway is a true honor.”