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Weekend: ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” will take the stage at the University of Findlay Wednesday, Feb. 19 through Sunday, Feb. 23, in the Frank J. Egner Center for the Performing Arts, John and Hester Powell Grimm Theatre.
The production will begin at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, with an additional show at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The Sunday performance will begin at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for senior citizens and $3 for students. UF faculty, staff and students are free. Tickets may be reserved by calling 419-434-5335.
Music and lyrics for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” are by Stephen Sondheim. The book is by Larry Gelbart and Burt Shevelove, based on the Roman plays of Titus Maccius Plautus. It was originally produced on Broadway by Harold S. Prince.
Micheal F. Anders is the producer and musical director for the show. Vicki McClurkin is the stage director. Brenda Hoyt-Brackman is the choreographer. Greg Griffin is scenic and lighting designer. Kathy Newell is costumer and Jessica Leszkowicz is props mistress. Matt Stimmel is technical adviser. Emily Gajewski is stage manager. Jessica Herman and Gary Flowers are assistant managers.
The show is produced through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.
Originally produced in 1962, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is a hilarious mixture of burlesque and outrageous comedy that starred Zero Mostel as the conniving slave, Pseudolous. It was revived on Broadway in 1971, with Phil Silvers in the lead, and in 1996, starring Nathan Lane. All three of these actors won the “best actor in a musical” Tony Award for the role.
The plot centers around Pseudolus, a cunning Roman slave who will do anything to win his freedom. The setting is a Roman street on which three houses are next door to each another. One is the house of Pseudolus’ masters: the philandering Senex; his domineering wife, Domina; and their handsome but empty-headed son, Hero. The second house is a brothel belonging to a “seller of flesh,” Marcus Lycus. The third house has long been empty; the senile Erronius has been gone on a long journey to find his children, who were kidnapped in infancy by pirates. Other principals include Pseudolus’ fellow slave, the aptly named Hysterium; a vain warrior, Miles Gloriosus; and the virginal Philia, a resident of Lycus’ “domicile” who is loved by Hero but who has been promised in marriage to Miles Gloriosus.

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