Project Description

Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Broadway)

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Broadway & Tour)

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM with a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart; Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim opened at the St. James Theatre on Broadway on April 18, 1996 and closed on January 4, 1998 after a run of 35 previews and 715 performances.

Produced by Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director), Scott Rudin, Paramount Pictures Corporation, The Viertel-Baruch-Frankel Group, Roger Berlind and Dodger Productions; Associate Producer: Marc Routh, Perseus Productions and TV Asahi.

Directed by Jerry Zaks; Choreographed by Rob Marshall; Scenic & Costume Design by Tony Walton; Music orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick; Dance arrangements by David Chase; Lighting Design by Paul Gallo; Sound Design by Tony Meola; Hair Design by David H. Lawrence.

Starring Nathan Lane (Prologus an actor / Pseudolus slave to Hero – Mar 18, 1996 – Feb 09, 1997), Jessica Boevers (Philia a virgin), William Duell (Erronius a citizen of Rome), Cris Groenendaal (Miles Gloriosus a warrior), Mark Linn-Baker (Hysterium slave to Senex & Domina), Ernie Sabella (Lycusa buyer & seller of courtesans), Lewis J. Stadlen (Senex a citizen of Rome), Jim Stanek (Hero son of Senex and Domina), Mary Testa (Domina wife of Senex), Brad Aspel (Protean), Cory English (Protean), Pamela Everett (Tintinabula a courtesan), Mary Ann Lamb (Vibrata a courtesan), Susan Misner (Geminae a courtesan, one of a pair), Stephanie Pope (Gymnasia a courtesan), Ray Roderick (Protean), Lori Werner (Geminae a courtesan, one of a pair) and Leigh Zimmerman (Panacea a courtesan).

Swings: Michael Arnold, Kevin Kraft and Kristin Willit.

Standby: Bob Amaral (Pseudolus, Prologus).

Assistant Director: B.T. McNicholl; Associate Choreographer: Sarah Miles; Associate Scenic Design: Larry Gruber; Assistant Scenic Design: Mike Fagin; Assistant to Mr. Walton: Ann Keehbaugh; Associate Costume Design: Sharon Sprague; Assistant Costume Design: Mirena Rada and Nan Young; Associate Lighting Design: David Weiner; Assistant Lighting Design: Julie Duro; Associate Sound Design: Marie Renee Foucher.

General Manager: Dodger Productions; Associate General Manager: Joshua Rosenblum; Company Manager: Marcia Goldberg; Assistant Company Manager: Kimberly Kelley; Production Manager: Peter Fulbright; Production Stage Manager: Arthur Gaffin; Stage Manager: Michael Pule; Assistant Stage Manager: John F. Sullivan.

Musical Supervisor: Edward Strauss; Musical Coordinator: Seymour ‘Red’ Press; Conducted by Edward Strauss; Associate Conductor: Lawrence Yurman; Woodwind: Les Scott, Seymour ‘Red’ Press, Virgil Blackwell, Edward Zuhlke and John Winder; Trumpet: Stu Satalof, Larry Lunetta and Kamau Adilifu; Trombone: Bruce Bonvissuto and Jack Schatz; French Horn: Paul Riggio; Percussion: Glenn Rhian and Rick Kivnick; Bass: Lou Bruno; Keyboard: Lawrence Yurman; Harp: Beth Robinson; Violin: Ronald Oakland, Alexander Vselensky, Katsuko Esaki, Maura Giannini and Melanie Baker; Cello: Scott Ballantyne and Jeffrey Szabo.

Casting: Johnson-Liff Associates; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing Consultant: Margery Singer; Internet Marketing by Toby Simkin; Dance Captain: Michael Arnold; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Press Associate: Amy Jacobs, Stephen Pitalo and Stefanie Kastel.


Replacements

Understudies: Bob Amaral (Hysterium, Lycus), MacIntyre Dixon (Senex, Erronius), Cory English (Hero), Patrick Garner (Hysterium, Lycus, Erronius), Ruth Gottschall (Domina), Kenneth Kantor (Senex, Lycus, Miles Gloriosus), Kevin Kraft (Hero), Jennifer Rosin (Philia) and Leigh Zimmerman (Gymnasia).

Replacements: Bob Amaral (Pseudolus / Prologus – Dec 02, 1997 – Jan 04, 1998), Whoopi Goldberg (Pseudolus / Prologus – Feb 11, 1997 – Jul 13, 1997), David Alan Grier (Pseudolus / Prologusan – Jul 15, 1997 – Nov 30, 1997), Mary Testa (Domina), Bob Amaral (Lycus), Holly Cruikshank (Panacea), Kena Tangi Dorsey ( Gymnasia), Pascale Faye (Vibrata), Gina Ferrall (Domin), Robert Fitch (Senex), JoAnn M. Hunter (Vibrata), Dick Latessa (Senex), Ross Lehman (Hysterium), Carol Lee Meadows (Vibrata), Tara Nicole (Geminae), Don Stitt (Lycus), Kristin Willits (Geminae).

Replacement Swings: Shannon Hammons, George Smyros and Amiee Turner.

Replacement Understudies: Holly Cruikshank (Gymnasia), Gina Ferrall (Domina), Robert Fitch (Senex, Erronius), Kenneth Kantor (Pseudolus), David Rogers (Senex, Erronius), Don Stitt (Lycus), Kristin Willits (Vibrata) and Jessica-Snow Wilson (Philia).


The Broadway theatre supersite Buy Broadway OnlineAs Founder and CEO of Theatre.com and BuyBroadway.com.  The pioneer in moving the Broadway industry onto the internet. The theatre press branded me as “Toby is the man pushing theatre, kicking and screaming, into cyberspace.” What started in 1989 as a Broadway industry service called ShowCall via dialup BBS for members of the League of American Theatre Producers evolved onto the world wide web in the early 90’s, and shortly after this, the vast majority of Broadway shows (starting with my production of Victor/Victoria) and theatrical organizations followed. The “Super site of Broadway” became a publicly traded company, prior to my re-branding it as Theatre.com at the Minskoff Theatre.

The global theater supersite theatre.comDescribed by Variety Magazine as a “marketing powerhouse“, it was the single largest theatre community in the world with over 180,000 active members (in the 1990’s this was massive). From buying official Broadway tickets and souvenirs, providing detailed global show listings, interactive show study & educational guides, live streaming shows and events (including many Opening Nights live broadcasts), industry news from major theatre journalists, pictures and videos, games, messaging directly to Broadway cast’s backstage or even licensing a musical, theatre.com offered it all in a single, easy-to-use interface to theatregoers globally.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

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A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, one of Broadway’s most brilliantly conceived musical comedies, opened in May, 1962. Inspired by plays of the second century B.C. Roman playwright Plautus, Forum is gloriously free of serious moments; the show’s action, dialogue, songs, and dances are the essence of farce: their single goal is to keep the audience laughing deliriously from the first note of the opening number, “Comedy Tonight,” until the final curtain comes down.

The show, which broke from musical comedy tradition by using only one stage set and no change of costumes, using characters and incidents from Plautus, who was the most popular comic playwright of his day, the creative team wove an ingenious new plot with an array of hilarious subplots and hysterical complications.

Forum is constantly in motion as characters whiz from one ridiculous situation to another and its score is full of wonderful songs which contribute mightily to the merriment and zany action. A marathon vaudeville performed in togas, the original production was directed by George Abbott with choreography and musical staging by Jack Cole. Produced by Harold Prince, it ran for 964 performances, proving that some of the world’s oldest jokes can still delight us and cause us to laugh at ourselves. A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1963.

Musical Numbers

Act One:

“Comedy Tonight” (Nathan Lane, Brad Aspel, Cory English, Ray Roderick, Company); “Love, I Hear” (Jim Stanek); “Free” (Nathan Lane, Jim Stanek); “The House of Marcus Lycus” (Ernie Sabella, Nathan Lane, Courtesans); “Lovely” (Jim Stanek, Jessica Boevers); “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid” (Lewis J. Stadlen, Nathan Lane, Mark Linn-Baker, Ernie Sabella); “I’m Calm” (Mark Linn-Baker); “Impossible” (Lewis J. Stadlen, Jim Stanek); “Bring Me My Bride” (Cris Groenendaal, Nathan Lane, Courtesans, Brad Aspel, Cory English, Ray Roderick)

Act Two:

“That Dirty Old Man” (Mary Testa); “That’ll Show Him” (Jessica Boevers); “Lovely” (reprise) (Nathan Lane, Mark Linn-Baker); “Funeral Sequence” (aka “Dirge”) (Cris Groenendall, Nathan Lane, Courtesans, Brad Aspel, Cory English, Ray Roderick); “Comedy Tonight” (reprise) (Company)

For fun, here is my parody of A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM from early 2020

Parody A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM...-An-Insane-Thing-Is-Happening-Every-Day-at-the-White-House-(Re-imagined-Poster)

See about 100 more of my Broadway parodies

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