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A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

Originally produced on Broadway by HAROLD S. PRINCE
Book by BURT SHEVELOVE and LARRY GELBART

Music & Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM
New York run: Alvin Theatre, May 8, 1962 
 

Plot Synopsis

The plot of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum concerns the efforts of a wily slave, Pseudolus, to win his freedom by procuring the beautiful but vapid courtesan Philia (a virgin) for his master, Hero (also a virgin). Only these two walking anachronisms could sing "Lovely" and actually mean it. Pseudolus' plans are hindered somewhat by Hero's father, Senex, who is himself smitten by Philia. But Senex has to admit that with love, at his age, sometimes it's just "Impossible". This sentiment is echoed by his wife Domina in the haunting lovesong "That Dirty Old Man".

As if that weren't enough, Philia is betrothed to Miles Gloriosus, a macho warrior, whose ode to love is "Bring Me My Bride". By the way, Philia was purchased sight unseen from the local dealer in courtesans, Marcus Lycus, who guarantees that she is untouched by human hands (and that includes the eunuchs). Infinitely more accessible are his other courtesans Panacea, Vibrata, Gymnasia, Tintinabula and the Geminae. These lovely ladies are real crowd pleasers and nobody is more pleased than Pseudolus, who dreams of buying one when he is finally "Free". But poor faithful Hero only wants Philia and so the plot continues.

To put Philia out of the running, Pseudolus concocts a plot that she is suffering from the plague, and blackmails Hysterium into aiding and abetting. Macho Miles arrives to claim his bride. Panic, chases and life-threatening situations ensue. The entire fiasco is fianlly saved by Erronius, a doddering old man who has just walked around the seven hills of Rome seven times, and the evening ends with "something for everyone - a comedy tonight". 

Cast of Characters (ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST)

Pseudolus Zero Mostel
Senex David Burns
Hysterium Jack Gilford
Marcus Lycus John Carradine
Philia Ruth Kobart

Songs from the Show - Act One

Comedy Tonight Pseudolus and the Company
Love, I Hear Hero
Free Pseudolus and Hero
The House of Marcus Lycus Lycus (and the Girls)
Lovely Hero and Philia
Pretty Little Picture Pseudolus, Hero and Philia
Everybody Ought to Have a Maid Senex, Pseudolus, Hysterium and Lycus
I'm Calm Hysterium
Impossible Senex and Hero
Bring Me My Bride Miles Gloriosus and the Proteans

Songs from the Show - Act Two

That Dirty Old Man Domina
That'll Show Him Philia
Lovely - Reprise Pseudolus and Hysterium
Funeral Sequence Miles Gloriosus, Pseudolus, Proteans, and Courtesans
Finale Ultimo

The Company

 

 

1988-1989 Production

Presented May 26-June3, 1989 at the High School of Commerce Auditorium, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 

Production Team

Production Coordinator Billi Langtry
Director Barry Bielby
Assistant to the Director Wayne Nolan
Musical Director Rod Holmes
Accompanist Lorna Rice
Choreographer Nancy Egan
Dance Captain Carole Billingham
Set Designer Malvary J. Cole
Scenic Artist Jeanie Stewart
Costume Designer Michael Gareau
Assistant to the Costume Designer Jill Thompson
Lighting Designer Margaret Coderre-Williams
Properties Mistresses Patti Mordasewicz and Susan Fowler
Sound Technician Bill Butterworth
Stage Manager Marylin Day
Master Carpenter Sid Jelly
Workshop Chairman Tom Shields
Make-up Designer Melva Scott
Hair Designer Walter Young 

Cast

Prologus, an actor Barry Caiger
Senex, an old man Vern Fraser
Domina, his wife Sharron J. McGuirl
Hero, his son David Farant
Hysterium, slave to Senex Jim Robertson
Pseudolus, slave to Hero Barry Caiger
Erronius, an old man Moe Romanow
Miles Gloriosus, a warrior Tim O'Ray
Lycus, a buyer and seller of courtesans Jack Wallace
Tintinabula, a courtesan Cindy Harrison
Panacea, a courtesan Debbie Jones
The Geminae, courtesans Julie Barber, Lynda Jackson
Vibrata, a courtesan Carole Billingham
Gymnasia, a courtesan Bridget Blais
Philia, a virgin Barbara Seabright-Moore
The Proteans Brad Burgess, Alan Mainguy, Jim Morrison, Sam Smith

Orchestra

Under the direction of Rod Holmes

Violins Irving Thompson, Ioan Harea, Todd Cadieux
Reeds John Hilchie, Blenis Pennell, Dave Ward, Gordon Richards
Trumpets Sid Holmes, Chris Lane
Trombones Marlene Field, Jay Harrison
Keyboard Lorna Rice
Bass Don Cox
Percussion Art Beers, Glenn Robb

 

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