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Sep 11, 2018

The Play That Goes Wrong Preview

By Broadway Live INSIDER - Michael J. Miller

The promising new season of Broadway Live doesn't kick off until November, but theatre fans have a rare treat coming this weekend to whet their appetite.

The longest currently running play on Broadway is about to launch its first National Tour and they've roosted in the Lexington Opera House for the past few weeks putting finishing tweaks and touches on the brand new production. They officially hit the road for an expansive tour across the country next week, but Lexington audiences have a chance to preview their handiwork this weekend in two exclusive performances.

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is a riotous Olivier and Tony Award winning British farce that hilariously chronicles a disastrous production of a faux-Agatha Christie murder mystery being performed by a dramatic society that, as the title suggests, can't seem to get anything right.  The result is a madcap evening of guffaws and gasps that has taken London and New York by storm and is soon to spread its merciless moxie across America.

The creative team and producers (including J.J. Abrams of STAR WARS and TV's LOST fame) chose our historic Opera House to rehearse and mount the new national tour.

A media event was held Tuesday to showcase the massive talent that’s in town to bring this tasty treat to Lexington.  Jeff Norman, the Production Stage Manager, is excited to see how the show plays in front of its first live audience this Friday night.

“On Broadway, the audiences literally don’t stop laughing the entire show,” he told me, as he took a break between rehearsals at Pardy’s Pub in the Opera House’s famed cellar gathering space.

Mr. Norman will be responsible for making sure the show maintains its Opening Night integrity throughout the nearly one-year touring run.

“Once the show opens, the Director steps aside and I will be the one making sure it maintains his artistic vision as we go from city to city,” he added.

The Director in question is Greg Tannahill, who is also in town for the Lexington ramp-up and has been with the show since its original humble beginnings six years ago on a small pub stage in London.  In the years since, the show has made its way through various upgrades, winning multiple awards internationally, including and Olivier and a Tony. 

“We’ve really enjoyed our time in Lexington,” Mr. Tannahill said, “Mostly working, working, working, but we also had last Sunday off and had a chance to tour Buffalo Trace and have a bit of bourbon.”  Cast and crew will visit the Old Friends thoroughbred sanctuary this coming Sunday after their weekend stint in Lexington closes, before they pack up and head to Pittsburgh next week for the official opening of the production. 

Among the cast are two Broadway stars that recently wrapped up summer engagements in New York to join this touring romp.  Angela Grovey was recently in the original Broadway cast of the Jimmy Buffett musical Escape to Margaritaville after she wrapped up her role in the national tour of Disney's Newsies.  Ned Boyes comes to the production directly from starring in THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG on Broadway, and was recently seen in Roundabout Theatre Company's Cabaret, which played this stage last season.

“It’s an honor to be in such a challenging role,” Ms. Grovey explained.  Her previous Broadway and touring experiences have been primarily in musical theatre. “I’m looking forward to this new venture on my walk as an actor,” she added.

Mr. Noyes left the Broadway cast to join this new tour when it was announced that the New York production was scheduled to close this past August.  Then, because of robust summer ticket sales, the engagement at the Lyceum Theatre was extended through this January.  Any regrets?  “Absolutely not!” he quickly answered, “I love to travel, and this tour is going to run through at least next September.”

Don’t miss this truly unique opportunity to get a preview of what is sure to be one of the most riotous plays that tours the country over the next year.  It’s right here, right now at the Lexington Opera House. What could possibly go wrong?

"A GUT-BUSTING HIT"- The New York Times

"A RIOTOUS EXPLOSION OF COMEDY"- Daily Beast

"TONS OF FUN FOR ALL AGES"- HuffPost

Tickets to THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG are available now for performances Sept. 14 and 15.  Call (859) 233-3535 or visit the event page on LexingtonOperaHouse.com to buy tickets.