The Play That Goes Wrong – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

The Legacy Theatre of Branford has a delightfully funny gift for you that is just daring you to open by Sunday, October 1. Think of a combination plate of slapstick and farce, a barrel of spills and chills, a satire that is sensationally silly, and on the surface a murder mystery at an English manor. With impeccable timing this talented cast is inviting you to “The Play That Goes Wrong” by Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer. It is packed with giggles, guffaws and gasps and promises to knock you over with laughter from the first mantlepiece problem to the last surprise unveiling of the culprits.

The place is England in a snow storm in the winter of 1922 and the guests are gathering to celebrate the engagement of Charles Haversham and Florence Colleymore. There’s only one immediate problem: the potential groom is found dead. Is it murder or suicide or by natural causes? The Cornley Drama Society is happily presenting the evening for your enjoyment and that may just be their first mistake. Have no fear, there are many more mistakes to come…and you’ll be front and center to witness them all.

Nick Fetherston’s Charles is discovered in his private rooms on this most special day of all days, which causes his new fiancé Mary Mannix’s Florence to have a spell or episode or trauma, or all three. Her brother, Chris Lemieux’s Thomas, has discovered the corpse with the aid of Charles’ faithful servant of 8 or 88 years (he isn’t sure which) Thomas Beebe’s Perkins and to solve the mystery they have requested Jimmy Johansmeyer’s Inspector Carter to investigate. One prime suspect is Charles’s unusual younger brother, Isaac Kueber’s Cecil, who is jealous and is carrying on with someone very close to Charles. Also involved in the suspect pool are Isaac Kueber who doubles as Arthur the Gardener, Mariah Sage’s Annie who suddenly finds herself playing Florence and Dan Frye who is supposed to be busy cueing the sound and lights.

Timing is everything and this cast has all the “accidents” timed perfectly, guaranteed for maximum effect. This bevy of crazy characters is skilled and schooled in milking the situations. Keely Baisden Knudsen does a splendid job keeping the set designed by Jamie Burnett falling apart on cue and her actors on spot with their audacious antics.

For tickets ( $35-50), call the Legacy Theatre, 128 Thimble Island Road, Branford at 203-315-1901 or online at Productions are Thursday, September 21 at 2 p.m., Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

If you are in need of a laugh or four dozen, look no further than the latest Legacy Theatre offering, just watch out for falling…everything!