A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum: Sondheim's Hit Musical Farce
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All offers for A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum have expired.
The last date listed for A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum was Saturday September 25, 2010 / 8:00pm.
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Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from C.M.
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When I attended this production on Friday night, I reminded myself that since this is community theatre I shouldn't have such lofty expectations. Even now as I write this review, I'm repeating the same thing to myself. But when do we draw the line on what is acceptable and unacceptable theatre?
I've seen some incredible performances in "Non-professional" theatre. When is it fair to disregard the fact that the performers and directors are only doing theatre as a hobby and shouldn't be held at the same level as, say, those at SCR or the Ahmanson? I feel that a production should at least be a serviceable representation of the material.
Forum is one of my favorite musicals. When done well, it can be hilarious. Unfortunately, in this situation, it was just BORING, which is the worst word to use when describing Forum. I know, there's only a certain amount of money to be had when producing community theatre, especially in these hard times so, I'm not even going to mention the costumes, sets and musicians. I think the real problem with this production is the direction and acting.
Forum must have a quick pace that only gets faster as the play progresses. There was no precision in this production. The direction was sloppy and the action seemed to shuffle rather than sprint, with actors taking so much liberty that most of the humor was sucked out of every scene. The sluggish pacing really killed things in the second act during the "chase," a section which should move like lightening.
Alot of the material rests on the shoulders of the lead, Pseudolus. In this production, the actor just couldn't deliver. My biggest problem with him was how flat he played everything, from start to finish. There was no build in urgency and frantic energy as the play progressed. If the lead doesn't seem to care about what's going on, why should we? He fumbled many of the jokes, his adlibs weren't funny and added to the slow pace and, worst of all, he ackowledged when the conductor came in too early with the orchestra. Yes, in a show like Forum a breach of theatre etiquette like that is acceptable if played as part of the material. However, this actor didn't use the mistake as part of the show, but rather acknowledged it as if he, the actor, were frustrated that he couldn't finish his line. It ended up being awkward and not particularly funny.
I want to support community theatre and give them a break, but I still want to be entertained and not feel like I'm obligated to sit through someone's child's sixth grade recital. I understand that many people doing community theatre are working 8 to 5 type jobs and treat theatre as a hobby or some creative outlet from their everyday lives. However, the audience is still paying to see them on stage and even if these people consider it to be their hobby, it should still be good.
One of the funniest musicals in the American Songbook, this clever, tuneful take on silly doings in ancient Rome makes for an evening of giddy entertainment. Combining the best traditions of Greek comedy, musical theatre and just a dash (maybe more) of burlesque, the tale of the wily slave out to win his freedom is a delight for all. Throw in some bright tunes from one of Americas’ best composers and a bevy of beautiful girls and you have an audience pleaser for everyone in the audience. Comedy Tonight!
About the Ticket Supplier: Whittier Community Theatre
Founded in 1922, the Whittier Community Theatre presents a four-show season in the attractive, refurbished 396-seat Center Theatre, located in the Whittier Community Center. WCT has been in continuous operation for 86 years making it the oldest non-profit amateur theatre west of the Mississippi.