Ticket Giveaway: The Play That Goes Wrong

Win two tickets to see “The Play That Goes Wrong” for free

I’m holding this contest to help promote 20at20, a terrific program that offers $20 tickets to 20+ Off Broadway shows, 20 minutes before showtime. This year the discount program will run for (natch) 20 days, from September 3rd to September 22nd.

“The Play That Goes Wrong,” which ran for 745 performances on Broadway, before it transferred to New World Stages,is the comic invention of the Mischief Theater, which introduces the fictional ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong…does, to hilarious effect.

To enter the contest for the tickets, just answer this question:

What has gone wrong for you in the theater?

Describe a specific incident, either as a theatergoer or a theater artist – something that you either witnessed or in which you were involved —  preferably an incident you can look back at now and laugh about.

The Rules
Please put your answer in the comments at the bottom of this blog post, because I will choose the winner at random, using Random.org, based on the order of your reply, not its content.

But you must answer the question – tell us a real story, with specifics (what show?), and a beginning middle and end — or your entry will not be approved for submission.

This contest ends Tuesday, August 27th at midnight Eastern Time, and I will make the drawing no later than noon the next day. You must respond within 12 hours or I will pick another winner.

The winner will be given a voucher for tickets on any Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday performance in September and October. (Tickets are subject to availability. Blackout dates may apply.)

Update: Naomi Serviss (#20) won the random drawing. But stay tuned, there’s a new ticket giveaway contest for a different show coming this afternoon.

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Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

26 thoughts on “Ticket Giveaway: The Play That Goes Wrong

  1. The man sitting behind me at a show constantly shoved my shoulder with his hand because he said I blocked his view. When I moved slightly, he would shove me again. It was violating and distracting

  2. The woman behind me at a jukebox musical was singing throughout the entire show – so loud I couldn’t hear the performers themselves. The usher came over and did absolutely nothing. It was extremely distracting and made for an unpleasant experience.

  3. A recent funny one that happened was during The Prom. During Act 2, Beth Level smacked her mic super hard and it mad a loud “DUNK” sound and everyone on stage proceeded to crack and lose it. The audience loved it and laughed just as hard!

  4. This is going back a few years when I was in high school. It was our fall production and I was playing Mr. De Pinna in You Can’t Take It with You. We were in dress rehearsals and we just got to the dinner scene at the end of Act I. To set the scene, it’s a long table (set up in a very Last Supper by Da Vinci sort of way, so the audience can see everybody) and I was in the table corner stage right. The actor playing Kolenkhov (who is also sitting at the table, stage left), had been adding very aggressive actions to fit his character, and decides to hit his fist on the table at one particular line. Well, during that one time, he misses the table and hits the bowl, having it fly into the air and across the table. Even better, it ends up in my lap. None of the actors expected that so we all break laughing. We were planning on having actual food in the bowl too for the show, so thank god it was empty in the rehearsals. Still, we tried to continue the scene (we still had to pray at dinner as Grandpa gave his final speech for the act), but it was hard to not giggle at what just happened. That was the most fun I had with a show and a memory I will never forget.

  5. My junior year of high school I was in the stage crew for South Pacific. We had several large set pieces, including a dock/stage that spanned 2/3 the length of the stage and had to be turned around to transform. Our most complicated scene change included turning the platform, wheeling a house off, and wheeling a small boat on. All hands were on deck (no pun intended) including two people for that small boat.

    Well, right before that scene change, a member of the chorus had an asthma attack and briefly passed out. A couple cast members who weren’t on stage and members of the crew were trying to handle the situation, including calling for an ambulance, while the performance was still going on. We were trying to decide what to do about the show when the change came up and at that moment we just had to go with it. So I ran out to do my part, as did most of the crew. Except one person, the second person wheeling on the boat, had stayed with the girl. And the first person got there so late she was running to bring it out. Not used to having to pull the weight by herself, the boat swerved wildly and ended up in the orchestra pit, almost decapitating our bass player who fortunately ducked in time. We got the boat out and back on stage, the scene continued, the ambulance arrived, and the girl was ultimately fine and back the next day. No one got hurt, which is almost unbelievable with how much went wrong, but now it’s just a fun and insane story.

  6. I once broke my foot onstage when I was in a production of The Mikado, except it happened before the performance had even really started; we had a tradition of all dancing freestyle onstage behind the curtain during the long Gilbert and Sullivan overtures, and I got a little carried away one night…leaped in the air, came down hard on the side of my left foot, and bam, lol. I was out of the show for the remainder of the run sadly, although at least the audience didn’t have to see me being carried away! 🙂

  7. This happened the other night at Tootsie. It went wrong, but oh so right.

    During a particularly frenetic scene, the most epic “this is live theater, folks!” moment happened when the actor playing “Jeff” accidentally flung a black stiletto into the audience and hit an audience member on the head. Several seconds later the audience threw the stiletto back on stage. “Jeff” caught it, blew a kiss to the audience member who returned the shoe, and completed the scene (it was supposed to land in the closet) to massive applause and laughter. Santino Fontana (“Michael/Dorothy”) came back onstage a second later, having broken character, laughing “What the f*** is happening?” And I still haven’t figured out if that line was in the script or not, but you can’t write a scene like that! LOL!

  8. I was at a performance of Groundhog Day, which had a storied history of mishaps with that set. Sure enough, a voice came over the loudspeaker that the production had to hold and the actors left the stage in the middle of a really emotional scene. It was the first time I’ve ever been to a performance that had to halt. When they picked back up, the amazing Andy Karl and Barret Doss just slipped right back into their emotional scene as if they were in it the whole time.

  9. I was watching a community theater production of A Streetcar Named Desire. There was a scene where Stanley had all of his friends over at the house and they were all sitting around a table playing poker. At one point Stanley stood up to say something. He was really mad in this scene, and when he went to sit back down he sat HARD and the chair broke! It was such a serious scene, but man I couldn’t stop laughing. All of the actors on stage handled it really well and not a single person broke character. Later on in the show, a different character even improvised a line about Stanley breaking furniture. They did such a good job that eventually I thought that was SUPPOSED to happen and I felt really bad for laughing! Afterwards I asked my sister, who was in the show, and she said that it was in fact not supposed to happen, and all of the actors though it was hilarious backstage.

  10. Last month at The Road Show, a guy a few seats sat down and after the show started he took his shoes off. I was tempted to say something, but didn’t. Shoes did not go back on until the lights came up. He was barefoot.

  11. In Wicked during what became Idina Menzel’s final performance, there was a mishap towards the end of the show. During her “melting” scene, the elevator had lowered too quickly and she fell. The show was stopped for awhile and then Shoshanna Bean took over for the last bit. It was scary because no one knew how badly she was injured (though during curtain call Joey McIntrye said she was okay). She ended up with a broken rib and wasn’t able to perform in what was supposed to be her last show.

  12. I was at the matinee before opening night of “War Paint” and halfway through the opening number, the set stopped and the curtain came down. Nothing happened for about 5 minutes and then Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole came out and answered questions from the audience and told a few stories while the problem was being fixed. The show then started from the beginning and went as planned the rest of the performance. It was a afternoon I won’t soon forget.

  13. I was at a performance of Kate Hamill’s Little Women (Off-Broadway) earlier this year. As a Mother’s Day present, I’d taken my mother to a Sunday matinee and we enjoyed the first half immensely. The actress playing Amy was particularly lively, energetically running across and around the stage until the end of Act I. After intermission, the audience members returned to their seats–only to hear an announcement made that “due to a sick castmate, the remainder of today’s performance has been canceled.” Apparently, when the actress playing Amy robustly darted across the stage at the end of Act I, it wasn’t in character as the flighty little sister! (Later, an actor in the show mentioned she’d “just made it” off on time before getting ill.)
    Then, we aimed to go to another performance of Little Women a week later (we were offered new tickets after the previous cancellation). Upon arriving at the theatre and just about to enter for the show, audience members are told that “due to an actress’ illness, the matinee has been canceled.” Apparently, something was going around. Oddly, though, the only cancelled shows seem to be matinees…matinees that my mom and I tried to attend.
    So, not only did Little Women “go wrong”–it didn’t really “go” at all!

  14. There is a production of Frozen at Disney California Adventure Park. In the scene where the sleigh is being chased, there was something wrong with the harnesses. So the show suddenly stopped, stagehands came out and escorted the actors backstage, and an announcement was made. About 5 minutes later they actors all came back out again, started by lying on the ground and then continued the show as if nothing had happened. They basically skipped the flying over the mountain part which required the harnesses.

  15. In Miss Saigon during the Fall of Saigon Kim’s bed was supposed to roll out as Chris tell Kim to wait until he gets back. The bed started to roll out on the tracks but got stuck halfway from backstage to the stage. Now, it’s an emotional scene but when it got stuck the performers playing Chris and Kim started to sing their lines but then Chris grabbed Kim and pulled her out of the bed so the audience could see them. Kim wasn’t expecting that so she gasped and they both cracked up. The funny thing is Chris’s line is I want you on that bed when I get back so he pointed to the bed but by then it had already unjammed and was off the stage so there was no bed. They laughed so hard pulling the emotion out of the scene but it was funny to see. After Chris sings that line, the bed is supposed to roll off backstage to take Kim off but in their laughter she proceeded to run off and in the dark could not see the bed was stuck backstage so when she ran off you heard a smash and the entire audience gasped. When she entered again in the scene, she had a small bandaid on her left temple. It was a very interesting night, that evening.

  16. In my high school production of “Under Milk Wood,” I played a character called Nogood Boyo (you can tell what the character was from there). There was one short line where I was heading to the washhouse for “no good” and I acted like I was being pulled behind the curtain by a young female.

    In an early performance of it, I had fake-yanked myself too hard and fell to the floor. From that point on, the directors had a female cast member actually pull me offstage instead.

  17. I was in a high school production of Anything Goes and at our first dress rehearsal my character shoes weren’t buckled properly so during Bon Voyage when I did a kick my shoe flew off my foot and landed where the pit would have been, if they were playing with us
    Thankfully they weren’t, so no one was hurt by an errant shoe, but it followed me through the rest of the year.

  18. The most recent play I was in, we had a haphazard ladder on the set. Two cast members totally smoked their heads on the day of the first preview. Luckily they were okay and in good spirits!

  19. During an emotional and breath-taking scene in “Wicked” when Idina appears to be lifted into the air, the mechanism got stuck and she was up in the air for a few minutes. She started “swimming” in the air and the audience cracked up. A true stalwart and comedienne!

  20. I was in pippin at my community college as berthe. Right as I stood up from my chair during “No time at all” i burped right in to pippins face. I kept going and he kept going but our eyes told a whole nother story.

  21. I definitely do not look back and laugh about this.. I finally won the Hamilton lottery and the performance/show was so great. All of a sudden during “The Room Where it Happens”, one of the fellow lottery winners in the first row starts having a full on seizure. It was so obvious to everyone and the cast almost didn’t know what to do until the announcement on the PA stated something to the effect of, “cast please leave the stage”, and there was a 20 minute or so break until the person was taken care of. Everyone had a sigh of relief when it seemed like the guy was going to make it but it was one of the most nail-biting moments in the theater.

  22. When Milky White’s leg fell off in my high school production of INTO THE WOODS and, as Jack, I had to soccer dribble it off stage.

  23. During a rousing song at “Man of La Mancha” at Westbury Music Fair, an actor let go of his sword and it flew into the audience. A few seconds later, I saw someone running up the nearby aisle towards the lobby. No one else in my group saw any of that.
    About ten years later, Newsday had an article about the history of the venue and mentioned the time an audience member was slightly injured by a prop sword during a performance of “Man of La Mancha.”

  24. I was at a evening show of Ain’t Too Proud by myself, and I mentioned to the person sitting next to me that I was excited to hear and see the performances and she agreed with me. She then proceeded to sing-along (loudly) to every single song in the production.

  25. I was stage managing on tour. My theater company had been hired to perform an educational show at a college. The stage we were using was usually for speakers so they hadn’t used their stage lights for awhile, but everything was perfectly fine during tech. Five minutes into the show the lights go out. There was still natural lights from nearby windows so my cast gamely continued while the college’s tech crew frantically tried to figure out what went wrong. Ultimately they had tripped a circuit and ended up running a power cord to another building! This all took place over around 8 minutes, and at the end of the show, the audience hadn’t realized it was an error, they thought it was part of the lighting!

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