Alyssa Bianca and Milo Sutton in SCAD’s ‘The Play that Goes Wrong’ Photo courtesy of SCAD
Alyssa Bianca and Milo Sutton in SCAD’s ‘The Play that Goes Wrong’ Photo courtesy of SCAD

BRINGING THE HOUSE DOWN: “The Play That Goes Wrong” takes the stage

Updated March 8, 2023 at 8:54 a.m.

Here is a show that is so wrong, it’s right!

The Savannah College of Art and Design School of Film and Acting presents the “The Play That Goes Wrong,” directed by comedian, actor and SCAD theater professor Craig Anton. 

 Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, “The Play That Goes Wrong” was a smash hit on Broadway and has been entertaining audiences and making them laugh in theaters around the world. Anton himself remembers seeing the show and laughing throughout.

“I had seen it years ago in New York, off Broadway, and I’d never laughed that hard,” said Anton. “I immediately tried to see if we could do it at SCAD I think about two years ago, but the rights had not yet become available.”

Now that the rights are available, the time is right to see what many have said is one of the funniest shows out there. Anton said the timing is right for this show and for some great laughs.

“One of my favorite quotes from grad school was ‘Why this play? Why, now?’ Having had a career in comedy I think now is one of the best times to laugh. We’re kind of post covid, and I think we’re all in need of some big belly laughs,” said Anton.

This show is an Olivier Award-winning comedy that is a hybrid of Monty Python and Sherlock Holmes. Accident-prone thespians fight against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call in a play-within-a-play.

Anton, who has appeared in many hit comedies including “Mad TV,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Lizzie McGuire,” “Phil of the Future,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and more, was well equipped to direct this show and navigate the undergraduate and graduate student performers.

“In each rehearsal, in each show we continue to discover. I am encouraging in the process and telling the cast that I want them to continue to find things. Even on our closing night, continue to try things and they’ve done that,” said Anton.

In “The Play That Goes Wrong,” we follow the missteps of The Cornley Drama Society and its 1920s murder mystery — a whodunit overrun with havoc — and its characters to see if anyone makes it out alive after encountering some comical situations. 

“I’m a hard person to get to laugh throughout the rehearsal process. I’m consistently laughing. Sometimes you can teach comedy, but often it’s just something people have and are born with that ability. I feel super grateful that I’ve got a dynamic cast,” said Anton.

One of those dynamic cast members is Milo Hutton, a junior earning his B.F.A in performing arts. Hutton was supposed to make his debut in a show last year, but covid cases caused that show to be canceled. 

Hutton recalled getting an email about auditions for the play, and he had a short time to read the play and prepare before the auditions.

“I immediately read it, and fell completely in love with it. I was just laughing hysterically out loud in front of my computer reading this play, and I ended up reading it four times between that two-week period,” said Hutton.

Hutton plays Max. The character is described as a happy-go-lucky member of the society. He is often a supporting player but has a passion for acting nevertheless. Hutton remembers reading the play and connecting with the character.

“What really struck me from the very beginning was just how much of a child Max is. He is goofy, and he is on this journey to perform in this play but it goes wrong,” said Hutton. 

Max has the habit of often breaking character to smile and interact with the audience and labeling his stage props with his name.  

“On his journey, he is kind of nervous on stage, and then just realizing he’s getting all these reactions from the crowd when he does different gestures. I really loved that about Max. He didn’t care about anything except just having a relationship with the crowd,” said Hutton. 

Having a relationship with the crowd is something Anton and Hutton understand. The audience just might get to interact a little with the cast. 

“As we’re setting up the show, cast members, crew members might be seen in the lobby. There is a dog in the production that sometimes goes missing. Sometimes we have to look in the lobby and different places for that dog,” said Anton. 

Then, there are the moments when Hutton’s character breaks the fourth wall and has some deliveries and interaction with the audience.  

“From day one, there was a lot of freedom to just explore and find new bits and little gags here and there in the play. This is the best cast I’ve ever worked with in theater. I love every single one of them. Craig, as a director, is great. He’s extremely patient, very caring and very encouraging,” said Hutton. 

Hutton and Anton have a great deal of respect for each other and the cast and they delighted in the experience of bringing this show together.  

“Milo is a wonderful actor, a gifted actor, and a great comic actor. He’s a natural. I’ve known his father, Academy award winner Timothy Hutton just only from film. His son is just a fantastic stage actor,” said Anton. 

Hutton and Anton both discovered this play in different ways but both connected with and are now connected through performing it. They both agree that it is about great storytelling and the laughs. 

“I promise you I will make you laugh and entertain you, and in return, what I need from the audience is your support. Just knowing that you’re there for me and trust me, trusting this character with all of these crazy things going on is amazing,” said Hutton. 

The show runs Thursday, March 9 through Sunday, March 12 at the Lucas Theatre. 

Purchase tickets at savannahboxoffice.com



Published February 28, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Kareem McMichael

Kareem McMichael is a filmmaker, documentarian, writer, and multimedia content creator. The Macon native enjoys entertainment, and sharing with locals and visitors’ stories about Savannah’s art and culture scene. When he is not working, he enjoys relaxing at the beach, grabbing a beverage, hitting a fun art event,...
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