Photo Flash: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Presents A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company may be celebrating its 25th anniversary, but it is still breaking new ground as a company! In its second year at The Otto M. Budig Theater in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati's home for the classics is turning to a new genre of classics: the classic musical. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, September 7-29, 2018 with a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, will be directed by CSC's Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips and features longtime ensemble member Matthew Lewis Johnson in the principal role. The production is generously sponsored by Fifth Third Bank and Construction Process Solutions Limited.
Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a story of shenanigans, hijinks, and tomfoolery as a lowly servant endeavors to scheme his way to freedom in this antic romp through Rome with desperate lovers, scheming neighbors, and scandalous secrets under every toga. Broadway's big, fat, Roman musical will have audiences dancing in the aisles at the brand new Otto M. Budig Theater with the infectious energy of classic vaudeville!
"Part of our artistic mission is to entertain unabashedly," said Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips. "We are here to be a light and to bring joy, even when things seem dark. Ours is a company of performers absolutely born to bring this piece to life. It's the funniest and perhaps the most popular of Sondheim's musicals, with a unique balance of ribaldry and sophistication."
The production will bring an original and colorful "Vegas" influence to the Roman show setting, with outrageous costumes, sets, and lighting! The creative team includes Scenic Designer Shannon Robert who has designed a colorful Vegas-inspired Roman neighborhood; Costume Designer Brian Horton, who is incorporating colorful and risqué pieces into the shows dozens of characters; Lighting Design by Adam Zeek and Sound Design by Douglas J. Borntrager to round out the talented team!
"Presenting the company's first musical has been a long time dream of mine and has been requested by our patrons for many years," says Mr. Phillips. "Now that we have the new theater and added space we can fully realize this vision." CSC welcomes Choreographer Vince DeGeorge to the creative team to design the dance elements for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". Mr. DeGeorge is Assistant Professor and Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Stage at University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) teaching both directing and choreographing. Since 2013, while at CCM, Vince has directed and choreographed 12 productions to rave reviews and accolades. CSC also welcomes Music Director Erin McCamley who will direct and lead the live music used in the production. Ms. McCamley is a Cincinnati native that is now New York based and has music directed for The Carnegie, CCM, Know Theatre Cincinnati, Showbiz Players, and more. She is also a co-founder of the Queen City Queer Theatre Collective (QCQCTC). "Besides," Mr. Phillips adds, "what better way to celebrate our 25th Anniversary than by having a Toga Party?!"
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum runs September 7 - September 29 with performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM, as well as Saturday September 29 at 2:00 PM. Preview performances are September 5 and 6 at 7:30.
Single ticket prices range from $14-$64. Previews on Wednesday, September 5 and Thursday, September 6 are $40. Advance student tickets are only $38 and day-of Student Rush tickets are $14 and may be purchased thirty minutes before a show with a valid student ID if available. This production is a part of this season's subscription package. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees may apply. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at www.cincyshakes.com.
Photos Credit: Mikki Schaffner Photography.