Department performs Funny Broadway musical

Ben Horine, junior theatre major, plays Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on my way to the Forum.

Ben Horine, junior theatre major, plays Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on my way to the Forum.

Scott Hasty

Comedy, togas and vaudeville make up this spring’s newest offering by the theatre department.

Southern Theatre will present A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum March 8-11 at 7:30 p.m. in Taylor Auditorium.

“The show is basically a ploy on ancient Roman times,” said Nicholas Gilmore, junior music education major. “The story revolves around a crafty and resourceful slave, named Pseudolus, that wants to be free, while messing everything up in the process.”

The cast has been working since the end of winter break to put the show together, said Dr. Jim Lile, assistant professor of theater.

“The show is filled with a lot of comical situations and character development,” he said.

The cast includes 18 actors, a full orchestra and a backstage crew.

Rehearsals for the crew started at 7 p.m. everyday.

“We work every night, for a couple of hours,” Gilmore said. “Personally, I come out to the stage every chance I get to practice my lines, musical numbers and my cues.”

“The cast runs the play start to finish almost every night,” said Ben Horine, junior theatre major.

Following rehearsal, critiques were described on how to better the play in song, choreography and lines.

Forum is a comedy written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart and lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim. It first premiered in 1962 with Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford and John Carradine in featured roles. The show was revived in 1996 with Nathan Lane as Pseudolus. When Lane left the show, Whoopi Goldberg took over to further Forum‘s success.

“A lot of theater is about coming together and going to see a show to be moved and to see something special appear on the stage,” Gilmore said.

Forum is under the direction of Susan Smith, voice coach and vocal music director; Charles “Bud” Clark, music department head; Gerrie-Ellen Johnston, instrumental music director and orchestra conductor choreographer and Lile, director.

Costume designs are by Anne Jaros and costumer is Ann Lile.

Set designers are Sam Claussen, associate professor of theater, and Lyle Burrow, assistant technical director to the theatre department.

“I hope the audience gets a laugh, because all this show is about is the laughs,” Gilmore said.

To reserve tickets, visit the box office or call 625-3190.