Producer-director J.J. Abrams juggles Sci-Fi 'Star Wars' sagas with on-stage comedy and shenanigans

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Producer, writer and director J.J. Abrams has kept himself fairly busy for the past few years working on a little franchise you may know... "Star Wars." But for a change of pace, he signed on as theatrical producer to help bring the comedy "The Play that goes Wrong" from Britain to Broadway... and now to L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre.

"My involvement in this is really more of trying to cheerlead and shepherd this thing to the states," said Abrams.

It all came about a few years ago when he had a rare day off while shooting "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

"I just desperately needed to get out of my head and saw there was this play, 'The Play that Goes Wrong.' I thought that sounds very different than what I was working on," said Abrams. "I went to go see the play and it was, I just don't remember laughing that hard, or being in a theater full of people side splitting, tears laughing and I thought this needs to be as many places as possible."

The premise of the show is that an amateur theater company is trying to put on a murder mystery. Literally everything than can go wrong... does.

"What's great about this play is, you know, you put the poster upside down, and people know immediately what they're in for," said producer Kevin McCollum. "So the contract with the audience from the very first moment, you know you're here to laugh. So anyone who doesn't want to laugh, please don't come."

"Having that kind of joyous experience, it's an increasingly rare thing, it's beautiful, and almost a medicine, for the world we live in," said Abrams. "The fun of seeing this play was so undeniable that my being involved was purely a selfish endeavor. I just wanted to be part of bringing this thing to audiences."

"The Play that Goes Wrong" will run at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown L.A. July 9 through Aug. 11.
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