MSS presents ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’

MANITOULIN—Mistaken identity, chase sequences and a lot of laughs await audiences starting tomorrow night as Manitoulin Secondary School debuts its production of ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.’

Inspired by the farces of ancient Roman playwright Plautus, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (who also wrote the music and lyrics for ‘Sweeney Todd,’ ‘Into the Woods’ and lyrics for ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Gypsy’) and the book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, the musical’s original 1962 Broadway production won several Tony Awards, such as Best Musical and Best Book.

The musical follows the story of a slave named Pseudolus who tries to win his freedom by helping his master Hero win the love of the girl next door, Philia.

The MSS musical stars Eric Harper as Hero, Taylor Van Horn as Philia, Dione Gordon as Pseudolus, Andrew Vokes as Senex, Rebecca Dawson as Domina and Cody Crawford as Hysterium.

“We’ve had amazing support from the community, staff and students which has really made the production possible,” artistic director Tom Scott told The Expositor. “We decided we wanted to do something farce—something very funny. ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ has a simple plot, but is just really fun and full of laughs.”

Mr. Scott said that he and his team held auditions last Thanksgiving and have been rehearsing since, minus the Christmas break and exams, which have forced the cast to work hard to pull the production together.

Other key members of the production include student Courtney Oswald as stage manager, musical director Chris Theijsmeijer, technical director Heather Theijsmeijer, stage and prop manager Willa Wilson, Jill Ferguson and choreographers Liz Oswald (former MSS student) and Kylie Cranston and Michelle Campbell.

The entire production is full of high energy featuring great acting and singing, matched only by the fantastic sets and costumes making MSS’ production a must see.

The curtain opens tomorrow night, Thursday, February 13, at 7 pm at MSS, with refreshments at 6:30 pm. The production will also run Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15 at 7 pm. Tickets are $10 for children 12 and under and only $10 for students for the February 13 performance. Adult tickets, and tickets for students for the other two performances, are $15 and available at the door or at Robertson’s IDA in Gore Bay and the Guardian Pharmacies in Mindemoya, Little Current and Manitowaning.

 Robin Burridge