Way Off Broadway Welcomes The Return of A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
In 2002, The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre opened its season with a set of new owners and the hilarious musical comedy farce A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Sixteen years later, the Kiska family, who purchased the theatre in 2002, and Way Off Broadway are very excited to see the return of one of the funniest shows to ever appear on the WOB stage. Forum will continue the theatre's 2018 Mega-Mini Season, running March 23rd - May 19th.
A Funny Thing Happened . . . Forum is Stephen Sondheim's joyous, musical romp through ancient Rome with desperate lovers, scheming neighbors, and secrets behind every toga. Broadway's greatest farce is light, fast-paced, witty, irreverent and one of the funniest musicals ever written. Forum is a nonstop laughfest in which Pseudolus, a crafty slave, struggles to win the hand of a beautiful, but slow-witted, courtesan named Philia for his young master, Hero, in exchange for freedom. The plot twists and turns with cases of mistaken identity, slamming doors, and a showgirl or two.
Considered to be one of the funniest musicals ever written, Forum is light, fast-paced, witty, and irreverent. It's a show that takes comedy back to its roots, combining situations from time-tested, 2000-year-old comedies of Roman playwright, Plautus, with the infectious energy of classic vaudeville.
The original Broadway production opened in May 1962 at the Alvin Theatre after a series of out-of-town tryouts. Leading the company, as the mischievous Pseudolus, was popular stage and screen star Zero Mostel. At the 1963 Tony Awards, Forum took home the trophy in six of the seven categories in which it was nominated, including Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor (Mostel), Best Author (Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart), and Best Direction of a Musical (George Abbott). When the production closed in August 1964, it had played 964 performances and eight previews.
Since its original 1962 bow on Broadway, Forum has returned twice to the Great White Way. The show's first revival came in 1972 with comedian Phil Silver playing the role of Pseudolus; followed by a 1996 revival starring Nathan Lane, who would later be replaced by Whoopi Goldberg. An interesting piece of trivia is that every actor who opened a production in the role of Pseudolus on Broadway has won the Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.
Forum has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Way Off Broadway's production is directed by Justin M. Kiska, with music direction by Jordan B. Stocksdale and choreography by Dee Buchanan.
The production is led by Joseph Waeyaert as Pseudolus with Steve Steele - who appeared in WOB's original production - as Senex, Tina M. Bruley as Domina, Noah Israel as Hero, Abigail Wright as Philia, Jordan B. Stocksdale as Hysterium, Brett Stockman as Marcus Lycus, Ariel Messeca as Miles GLoriosus, and Pete Meyers as Erronius. Rounding out the cast are Jessica Billones, Elyssa Bosco, Zachary Bryant, Tommy Masser, Tori Weaver, M.E. West, and Kathleen Zoldos.
"Bringing Forum back has been something we've been talking about for a few years now," says Justin M. Kiska, the show's director and one of the theatre's owners. "It has a very special place her at Way Off Broadway, being the first show my family produced after we purchased the theatre. We've just been looking for the right time to bring it back and this spring seemed right."
Forum will run from March 23 - May 19, 2018, with performances every Friday and Saturday evening and matinees on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sunday of each month. A special matinee on Sunday, May 13th has been added for Mother's Day. For evening performances, guests arrive for dinner at 6:00 p.m. with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m. For matinees, doors open at 12:30 p.m. for lunch with the show beginning at 2:15 p.m. Tickets for a Friday evening or Sunday matinee are $45; Saturday evenings, tickets are $48.
Following Forum this summer will be an extended run of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. To learn more about any of Way Off Broadway's productions, visit www.wayoffbroadway.com
The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre, under the direction of the Kiska Family since 2002, will celebrate its 25th Silver Anniversary Season in 2019. Since it first opened in 1995, the theatre has been a leader in the area's theatre community, proudly bringing both classic musicals, as well as regional and area premieres to the Frederick stage. Productions have included Sister Act, Monty Python's Spamalot, Noises Off, The Addams Family, Les Misérable, Sunset Boulevard, Legally Blonde, Dolly Parton's 9 to 5: The Musical, The Music Man, Jekyll & Hyde, Hairspray, South Pacific, The Drowsy Chaperone, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, Mel Brooks' The Producers, CATS, The Wedding Singer, Evita, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease, La Cage aux Folles, Guys & Dolls, Steel Magnolias, Annie, Bye Bye, Birdie, The King & I, ...Forum, Lend Me a Tenor, Joseph..., Blood Brothers, Mame, and 42nd Street. In addition to its regular season, Way Off Broadway produces a number of special events throughout the year including an annual Breakfast with Santa (and Mrs. Claus) and an interactive mysteries series. www.wayoffbroadway.com