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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Theatre Antics Gone Awry!

“Peter Pan Goes Wrong” is a popular comedy, and was performed on the Ahmanson’s stage last month. Following the enchanting story of the Darling Family, popular characters are satirized in the production of the show, and have audiences laughing for hours. 

It is clear the actors who play the performers in the show are extremely talented and are masterful in the art of comedy. 

For those who are unaware of the funny show, “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” is the perfect fusion of creativity and humor, spinning the classical ideas of Sir J. M. Barrie’s nostalgic show. Much like its sister production, “The Play That Goes Wrong” has many similar elements and punchlines, and both shows were written, produced, and performed by the same company.

The Mischief Theatre Company creates multiple farces for trained actors, allowing the performers to break the fourth wall with the audience. Both follow the same themes of comedy: professional actors staging negligent actors who have been cast in well known and loved roles and stereotypes. 

The Ahmanson Theatre’s performance of “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” kept all audiences laughing non-stop for two hours. Plagued with tears of joy, stomach aches, and pounding hearts, every audience member appeared to thoroughly enjoy the show, adoring each character and the technical difficulties on the stage. 

Alluding to planned problems in the set design, a popular theme in both shows is the unfortunate and ironic downfall of the scenery and backdrop. To mark the end of the show, when it seems nothing could get worse, multiple set pieces fall directly on the stage, casting the image of a hazard to both the audience, actors, and the technical crew. This event revealed the literal back wall of the Ahmanson theatre, inflicting surprise and excitement for many audience members. 

Both Daniel Dae Kim and Neil Patrick Harris made guest appearances in the production for a limited amount of time, and both performed the role of The Narrator during different show dates. I was able to view the performance of Kim, and his performance has a large positive influence on today’s society.

Through the show, the talented actor comments on the lack of diversity in “Peter Pan Goes Wrong”, as well as the original Peter Pan story, and remarks on the unfortunate events and repercussions of the  SAG-AFTRA Strike.

The SAG-AFTRA Strike is a mutiny against powerful Film Producers in Hollywood. Workers of SAG-AFTRA have refused to work for the large companies because of unfair pay and the fear of Artificial Intelligence (AI) dominating their jobs. As a result, many actors, including Kim, have been struggling to find work due to the lack of writing production in the film studios. 

So, what makes this show so successful? Why do we laugh at others’ apparent and embarrassing mistakes? Why does our brain resort to comedy rather than fear when someone else messes up?

This line of psychiatric understanding is known as schadenfreude, and the science behind this line of reasoning is riveting. Schadenfreude presents the human mind and emotional center a sort of joy, almost protecting the brain from instinctual fear. So when we see someone mess up, especially during a public presentation, different energies combine and laughter erupts.

The art of theatre was created in 6 century BCE, and the mechanics of comedy were invented in 486 BCE. Despite its ancient age, genius playwrights and theatre companies still master the beautiful art form, bringing both joy and sorrow to audiences of hundreds and thousands.

The universal and prominent process of theatre has completely shaped the course of human kind, and still continues to influence millions across the world. “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” is only one theatrical comedy that brings so much joy to adults and children alike, and was expertly performed at The Ahmanson Theatre.

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