The Play That Goes Wrong Gets Hilarious Exactly Right

Rather famously, J.J. Abrams took the entire audience of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to see the production

January 14, 2020

Folsom, CA — Welcome to opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor where things are quickly going from bad to utterly disastrous. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines), the time will never be more right to see The Play That Goes Wrong. Winner of the Olivier Award, the national tour boasts a hilarious hybrid of Monty Python and Sherlock Holmes,  “a riotous explosion of comedy!” ( The Daily Beast) and “tons of fun for all ages!” ( HuffPost). Ben Brantley of The New York Times calls the play that goes wrong “a gut-busting hit,” and Cindy Adams of the New York Post has just one word for you: “GO!”

The national tour of The Play That Goes Wrong comes to the Harris Center Tuesday, January 28 and on Wednesday, January 29 at 2 & 7 pm (same time both days). Tickets are $42-$72; Premium: $82. Tickets are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 12 noon to 6 pm, Tuesday through Saturday (please note new hours), and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. The Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

“REMARKABLE! It embraces risk and danger to an extraordinary extent. You start to think that maybe the day you are having, or the year, really is not so bad after all!” – Chicago Tribune 

Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong is a riotous comedy about the theatre. The play introduces The ‘Cornley University Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong…does, as the accident-prone thespians battle on against all odds to get to their final curtain call.

The Broadway production of The Play That Goes Wrong opened at the Lyceum Theatre on April 2, 2017 and by its closing on January 6, 2019 played 27 previews and 745 performances, making it the 2nd longest running show in the history of the Lyceum Theatre. Not yet done with New York, The Play That Goes Wrong officially opened Off-Broadway on February 20, 2019 at New World Stages, where it continues delighting audiences. And the production is now in its fifth year in the West End and playing on six continents. “One of the most amazing things about having the show running all over the world is to be able to go and see different people in completely different cultures in completely different countries really laughing and enjoying the show,” says Henry Lewis. “To see people in Norway laughing the same way that they're laughing in Mexico or in Moscow, or all these different places, is really, really great.”

One of the American producers of the show is J.J. Abrams, well-known for his film and television work; this is his first venture as a theater producer. “I was shooting The Force Awakens in London, and I had a free night. I checked out what was playing in the West End, and I saw something called The Play That Goes Wrong. It sounded like a funny premise so I bought a ticket. When I went to see the play, I was amazed by the whole construction of it. The way it was put together. The rhythm of it. The cleverness. The brilliance of the performers. And I met one of the producers — Mark Bentley — at intermission. He was an incredibly nice guy, and I found myself asking if there were plans to take this comedy to the States.” Rather famously, Abrams did some public appearances to promote the production in New York, including taking the entire audience of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to see the production.


January at the Harris Center

Art Garfunkel returns to the Harris Center January 14 for a sold-out show. National Geographic Live! continues with Wildlife Photographer of the Year Steve Winter and his presentation On The Trail Of Big Cats (January 17). As they have proven time and again at the Harris Center, “the Russian National Ballet is a cut above many of its rivals” (Washington Post); the company of 50 performs Swan Lake January 22 and The Sleeping Beauty twice on January 23. The national tour of Beautiful–The Carole King Musical comes to Folsom for five performances (January 24-26), sharing the story behind “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and more. It’s all but sold-out. The hilarious Peabody Award-winning comedy Mystery Science Theater 3000 LIVE: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour pulls into Stage One with show creator Joel Hodgson and his robots in tow. “MST3K contains some of the hippest, deepest satire of the generation.” ( Los Angeles Times; January 21). The national tour of the play within a play, The Play That Goes Wrong comes to Folsom for four shows January 28-29. “A riotous explosion of comedy!” ( Daily Beast), with an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines). And the winner of four Tony Awards, including best choreography, An American in Paris, will grace Stage One for five performances January 30-February 1.

The Partners of the Harris Center finds the Bashkar Arts Academy presenting their annual recital of classical Bharata Natyam on January 18. SBL Entertainment presents Close to You: The Music of The Carpenters (“We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays”) January 19. And Sacramento Baroque Soloists present that most versatile of instruments in Voice of The Cello for three concerts January 25-26.

This Year Marks Nine Seasons of Great Shows. Up Close. In Folsom!

The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences, presenting the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts over 400 events attracting 150,000 annually.

Event Summary


  • Tuesday, January 28 and Wednesday, January 29 at 2 & 7 pm
  • Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College
    10 College Parkway, Folsom, CA 95630
  • $42-$72; Premium: $82
  • Ticket Office 916-608-6888
  • Tue - Sat 12 PM - 6 PM and 2 hours before show times
  • www.HarrisCenter.net

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