BWW Review: A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at Gulfshore Playhouse is Hilarious and Fresh!
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at Gulfshore Playhouse brings a fresh twist to a beloved musical comedy. Gulfshore Playhouse brought this show to life by gender-swapping several of the actors with their characters in the show, and they also had a smaller cast than what is typical for FORUM, which resulted in an even funnier production.
Kristen Mengelkoch played Pseudolus, a servant who is also somewhat of a narrator for the show. She began the show by introducing the characters and story in the song "Comedy Tonight," and this was a fantastic way to start. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her character scheme his way to freedom; the vibrant personality she brought to Pseudolus was phenomenal.
John Wascavage played Hysterium, the other servant of Senex (Michele Ragusa) and Domina (Jason Simon). He was the perfect contrast to Mengelkoch's Pseudolus, being more reluctant to join in on her character's scheming and struggling to stay calm. His reactions to many of the events that happened throughout the show were truly some of the funniest parts of it.
Julia Johanos played Philia, a girl who falls in love with Hero (Adante Carter), as well as Miles Gloriosus, a captain who was purchasing Philia from Lycus (Stephanie Pope). Her playing both of these characters of course led to some hilarious moments, but I was also so impressed with how well she contrasted the two characters, both in their personalities and in their singing. The more innocent Philia was very different from the vulgar and demanding Miles Gloriosus. I also have to commend the quick changes that were done to switch Johanos between characters, as at times they were incredibly fast.
The set for FORUM was also very beautiful, thanks to Scenic Designer Kristen Martino, who designed a set that worked perfectly for this production.
Whether you've seen FORUM performed previously or you haven't seen it ever before, I absolutely recommend checking out Gulfshore Playhouse's version of this comedic tale. I had a smile on my face from beginning to end, and I'm sure you will too. From the clever story the show tells to all the fun songs and the many laugh out loud moments, Gulfshore Playhouse's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM is thoroughly enjoyable.
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM is playing at Gulfshore Playhouse through December 30, so get your tickets before they are gone! Evening shows begin at 8 p.m.; matinees begin at 3 p.m. Show subscriptions are available and include priority seating, exclusive events, and discounted pricing. Tickets range from $20-$73; all tickets are $35 two hours before a performance. For purchase information, visit www.GulfshorePlayhouse.org or contact 866-811-4111.