June 25, 2008 > Comedy Tonight
By Ethan Chou
Absurd comedy in the style and setting of ancient Rome comes to life in the Ohlone College Summerfest production of the long-running Broadway masterpiece, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
Originally composed by Stephen Sondheim, this wildly popular musical ran an impressive 964 performances. Garnering prestigious Tony awards for Best Musical, Best Actor, and Best Director, to name a few, over the next 45 years, numerous revivals sparked by intense public and critical appeal have adorned stages and entertained viewers around the world. Now the hilarity continues as Summerfest brings the work to Ohlone College's Gary Soren Smith Center.
Inspired by the farcical humor of the Roman playwright Plautus, "Forum" tells the story of a group of neighbors living in three adjacent houses in a less than pristine area of Rome. Hero (played by Josh Milbourne), the son of a senator living in the center house, enlists the help of his slave Pseudolus (Danny Cozart) to win the heart of a courtesan residing in the brothel of his next door neighbor. Pseudolus, the main character, promises to assist Hero in wooing Philia (Stephanie Hammack), the girl next door, in exchange for his freedom, but finds out that she is in fact promised to another man.
The rest of the story sees the quick-thinking, quick-witted slave scrambling to prevent Philia's intended from taking her home, stop Hero's parents from finding out, and keep the oblivious third neighbor from ruining his various plots. Filled with everything from fake ghosts to characters disguising themselves as one another, all the while incorporating social satire, ridiculous puns and downright slapstick humor, this boldly comical, and occasionally humorously indecent, musical directed by Tom Blank is certain to provoke hours of non-stop, gut-bursting laughter.
Tickets are now on sale for this blatantly over-the-top production (just look at the opening song, "Comedy Tonight") at www.smithcenterpresents.com. Tickets are $20 per adult and $10 for students and seniors, the show is only the most recent product of 30 years of incredible Summerfest entertainment. For those interested, dinner is also available beforehand, so call in advance and do not miss out on one of the most hilarious Broadway musicals ever!
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Friday July 4 - Saturday July 5
Thursday July 10 - Saturday July 12
Smith Center Amphitheater
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont