Theatre promises side-splitting laughs at spring show

February 22, 2012 - 5:45am

Following the success of their fall show, Romeo and Juliet, the Vancouver Island University Theatre Department presents the musical farce: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, March 1 –10, 2012.

“This is a hysterical comedy sure to entertain,” said Director Ross Desprez. “A Funny Thing will have audiences laughing in this off-the-wall and hilarious musical.”

Written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbert, the play tells the story of a young slave named Pseudolus. His comedic world is set in Ancient Rome, where slaves were fashionable, virgins were regarded as objects to be conquered, and eunuchs were in abundance. In a desperate attempt to earn his freedom, Pseudolus aids in his young master Hero's endeavour to woo the girl of his dreams, Phillia.

Opening on Broadway in 1962, the show went on to win several Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book. Its run lasted two years, after 964 performances and eight previews. Since then it has undergone several Broadway and West End revivals, as well as a 1966 film.

“Critics can’t get enough of A Funny Thing,” added Desprez. “The play has a light and fluffy feel, chocked full of philosophical lessons one can take home.”

In addition to a cast of student actors from VIU’s theatre program, the play will feature the talents of VIU’s music students. “We’ll have an on-stage orchestra of eight to 10 musicians,” said musical director Greg Bush.

“This is a wonderful example of interdisciplinary collaboration between departments at VIU,” Bush added. “The opportunity to participate in a theatrical production gives our students experience performing in front of a live audience and a chance to practise what they’re being trained to do.”
Set designer for the play is Brian Ball, and costume designer is Shanae McGladery who is a senior student in the VIU Theatre program.
If you are one who enjoys classical farce elements, comedy, music, dancing, and laughing so hard that the person beside you feels mildly uncomfortable, then don’t miss VIU Theatre department’s production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Showtimes are March 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10 at 8 pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm. There will be two matinees Sunday, March 4 at 2 pm and Tuesday, March 6 at 4 pm.

Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for students and seniors. For reservations call 250-740-6100.

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