LOTS OF FUNNY THINGS HAPPEN ON THE WAY TO GOODSPEED
As farces go, this is one of the funniest. It’s silliness on parade, in this case around and about the streets of ancient Rome. A slave named Pseudolus , wonderfully captured in the antics of Adam Heller, desperately wants to win his freedom and so he concocts a convoluted plot by helping his young master Hero (Sam Pinkleton) win the affections of the lovely girl next door.
The object of Hero’s affections is the beautiful virgin Philia (Emily Thompson) who resides at a house of ill repute, awaiting marriage to the dashing but vain Captain Miles Gloriosus (Nat Chandler) who has paid in advance for his bride.
Hold on to your laurel wreaths, as Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, presents “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, until Sunday, November 29.
The streets of ancient Rome run amok with a flood of laughter as Pseudolus devises a detailed scheme to obtain his goal of independence. Complications swirl as Hero’s father Senex (David Wohl) mistakes Philia for his new maid, Marcus Lycus (Ron Wisniski) the keeper of the bawdy house, fears for his life if he doesn’t honor the Captain’s contract and an old man Erronius (Mark Baker) continues his search for his long lost son and daughter, stolen in infancy by pirates.
Disguises and mistaken identities abound as well as finely conceived lies, plagues and potions, soothsayers and signet rings, undead corpses and general mayhem. Hysteria erupts when Hysterium, (John Scherer) the chief slave of the house of Senex, is reluctantly pulled into the madcap machinations by Pseudolus and Senex’s ogre of a wife Domina (Mary Gutzi) unexpectedly returns home because of her suspicious nature. The three Proteans (Jason Babinsky, Kurt Domoney and Steve Konopelski) act like a trio of Stooges and Stephanie Lynn Nelson, Semhar Ghebremichael, Abbey O’Brien, Krista Saab, Kara Kimmer and Laura Keller provide a bevy of beauty as the courtesans of the house of Marcus Lycus.
Great music like “Comedy Tonight,” “Lovely,” “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid,” “I’m Calm” and “Impossible” propel the action in the desired direction.
Ted Pappas directs and choreographs this fun romp on a colorful set conceived by James Noone, with a rainbow hue of costumes by Martha Bromelmeier.
For tickets ($27.50-69.50), call Goodspeed Musicals, 6 Main Street, East Haddam (exit 7 off route 9), at 860-873-8668 or online at www.goodspeed.org. Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with select matinees at 2 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., with select performances at 6:30 p.m. The Thanksgiving week schedule is Monday, November 23 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Friday, November 27 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday, November 28 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 29 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Watch Pseudolus, the master of trickery, connive his way to a status of free man by manipulation and clever and comic scheming. You’ll laugh all the way to the forum and back home again.