Superstar producer-director J.J. Abrams will co-produce the Broadway transfer of hit London stage comedy “The Play That Goes Wrong,” joining a team of producers led by Broadway veteran Kevin McCollum, Abrams, and London producer Kenny Wax, who produces the show on the West End.
Abrams bills himself as a lifelong fan of theater, and both he and McCollum (“Rent,” “Avenue Q,” “Something Rotten!”) became fans of “Play That Goes Wrong” after they saw it on the West End, according to McCollum. The comedy, about an amateur troupe’s disastrous attempt to perform a 1920s murder mystery, has been playing on the West End since 2014, and its success there spawned two more titles — “The Comedy About A Bank Robbery” and “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” — also currently playing the West End.
The Broadway incarnation of the Mischief Theater production, lined up for an April opening at the Lyceum Theater, will star the original West End cast, which includes co-writers Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields. Mark Bell directs. (Shields is artistic director of Mischief, and Sayer is company director.)
“Play That Goes Wrong” is the first Broadway outing for Abrams, whose TV and film output as a producer includes “Westworld” and the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” Backed by McCollum, Abrams, Kenny Wax Ltd., Stage Presence Ltd. and Catherine Schreiber, the production will be capitalized for Broadway at between $3.5 million and $4 million, according to McCollum.
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“The Play That Goes Wrong” begins previews March 9 ahead of an April 2 opening at the Lyceum. Low-cost pre-sale tickets for preview performances are selling for $25 (for seats in the orchestra or front mezzanine) and $15 (for balcony seats) until Nov. 23.