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The Arlington Players A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum

By • Sep 20th, 2008 • Category: Reviews, Stand Out!

Listen to our review of The Arlington Players’ production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum [MP3 3:39 3.3MB].

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
The Arlington Players
Thomas Jefferson Community Theater, Arlington, VA
$20/$15 Students and Seniors
Through October 4th

This is the ShowBiz Radio review of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum, performed by The Arlington Players in Arlington, Virginia. We saw the performance on opening night Friday, September 20, 2008.

What better way to open The Arlington Players’ 2008-2009 season than with a Standout performance by the orchestra, cast and crew of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The opening number of the show, “Comedy Tonight” set the bar high for the rest of the evening. And TAP clearly passed the bar.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. It tells the bawdy story of a slave and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door.

From Dave Moretti‘s brutish self-obsessed Miles Gloriosus to Albert Coia‘s scene-stoppping Erronious, everyone in the 21-member cast committed to their roles.

Andy Izquierdo played the role of Pseudolus, a slave who wanted nothing more than his freedom. His reactions to what was occurring around him were intense but at the same time comical. His best scene was when Marcus Lycus (played by Ric. M. Herrera) was trying to get Hero interested in purchasing a courtesan. His expression for each girl was different, but there was still the overriding theme of “I want you now.” His movements were over the top and fit the character perfectly.

Pseudolus’ owner was Hero, played by Ross Wolfarth. Wolfarth had a childlike innocence about him. He appeared eager to embrace life, but had no idea what that meant. He was in love with the virgin Philia, nicely played by Kate Roehr. Roeher’s Philia was sweet and innocent as she was bred to be and you could not help being captivated by her beauty, as was Hero’s father Senex (Bill Karukas).

The orchestra, under the direction of Mark Deal, was superb. All of the sound for the evening was clear without being overly loud, with a wonderful balance between the orchestra and the singers designed by Keith Bell. The choreography by Kay Casstevens was delightful, such as the parade of courtesans attracting and keeping Pseudolus’ attention without each courtesan’s dance becoming repetitive or dull. Ann Marie Castrigno‘s lighting design added warmth and vibrancy to the production. There were a few minor occurrences with actors missing their spotlight so their faces were in shadow.

The set was very well designed by Jared Davis. The Roman street featured three distinct, colorful houses. The colors were bright which added to the farcical quality of the show. The costumes were also very Romanesque, with multiple adornments on top of traditional white togas. The two slaves, Psedulous, Hysterium (played by Ian Grossman), and the courtesans had added color so that they stood out from the rest of the cast. The Costume Designer was Barbara Esquibel.

Director Malcolm Edwards succeeded in bringing laughter to Arlington with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. This is a must see show. It is playing through Saturday October 4, Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday matinees on the 21 and 28th at 2:30 pm at the Thomas Jefferson Theater in Arlington, Virginia. The show ran 2 hours and twenty minutes with one intermission.

After you’ve seen the show, feel free to leave your comments here at ShowBiz Radio.net. We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater events in the DC Region.

And now, on with the show.

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Cast

  • Senex, and old man: Bill Karukas
  • Domina, his wife: Emme Hall
  • Hero, his son: Ross Wolfarth
  • Pseudolus, a slave to Hero: Andy Izquierdo
  • Hysterium, a slave to Senex and Domina: Ian Grossman
  • Philia, a virgin: Kate Roehr
  • Marcus Lycus, a buyer and seller of courtesans: Ric. M. Herrera
  • Tintinabula, a courtesan: Gina C. Tomkus
  • Panacea, a courtesan: Sue Edwards
  • The Geminae, courtesans: Ivana Alexander, Karen Toth
  • Vibrata, a courtesan: Kristen Wilson Magee
  • Gymnasia, a courtesan: Karen Brata
  • Miles Gloriosus, a warrior: David M. Moretti
  • Erronius, and old man: Albert Coia
  • The Proteans: Michael Bruno, Kay Casstevens, Keith Flores, Noah Goldenberg, Mike Usowski, Nicholas Weil

Orchestra

  • Reeds: Mitch Bassman, Alisha Coleman, Randy Dahlberg, Dana Gardner, Gwyn Jones, Mila Weiss
  • Trumpets: Terry Bradley, Scott Firestone, Paul Weiss
  • Trombone: Chris Bradley
  • Drum set/Percussion:Dan Spadoni, Kevin Uleck
  • Piano: Addie Edelson, Francine Krasowska
  • Violins: Michele Jacobs, Steve Natrella
  • Viola: Margie Bassman, Caroline Brethauer
  • Cello: Virginia Gardner
  • Bass: David Burrelli

Crew

  • Producer: John Segota
  • Director: Malcolm Edwards
  • Music Direction: Mark V. Deal
  • Choreographer: Kay Casstevens
  • Stage Manager: Lee Zahnow
  • Set Designer: Jared Davis
  • Master Carpenters: Peter Finkel, Pete Silvia
  • Lighting Designer: AnneMarie Castrigno
  • Sound Designer: Keith Bell
  • Costume Designer: Barbara Esquibel
  • Hair Designer: Arthur Rodger
  • Properties Designer: Cheryl Lytle
  • Assistant Producer: Nikki Hoffpauir
  • Assistant Stage Managers: Dina Green, George Krumbhaar, Arthur Rodger
  • Assistant to the Choreographer: Mary Jean Bruno
  • Fly Rail Crew/Follow Spot Operators: Peter Nerenstone, Michael Pakonen
  • Running Props: Ellie Lockwood
  • Set Dressing: Jared Davis, Cheryl Lytle
  • Sculptor of the Bust of Domina: Cheryl Lytle
  • Set Construction Crew: Ric Albani, Hank Drahos, Richard Garey, Ernst Harmse, William Kolodrubetz, Peter Nerenstone, Deborah Peetz, Arthur Pleasents, Bob Timmerman, Bill Wisniewski
  • Set Painting Crew: manda Acker, Candice Bolton, Karinn Cologne, Sandy Kozel, Ellie Lockwood, John Segota
  • Light Board Operator: Joni Hughes
  • Sound Crew: Chris Kagy, Brian Vargas
  • Stage Crew: Mimi Carter, Kristin Visaggio
  • Make-up Crew: Candice Bolton
  • Auditions: Amanda Acker, Karinn Cologne, Dina Green, Catherine Oh, Arthur Rodgers
  • Rehearsal Pianists: Addie Edelson, John-Michael d’Haviland, Colton Hammond, Francine Krasowska, Sue Mason McElroy, Brian Victor, James Watson
  • Program: Dave Moretti
  • Box Office: Christopher Smith
  • Graphic Artist/Logo Design: Dave Moretti
  • Photography: Fredo Alvarez, Michele deBlois
  • Lobby Display: Ivan Davila
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

2 Responses »

  1. […] ShowBizRadio: Review of The Arlington Players’ A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum […]

  2. You do not say where the theatre is. The address given for The Arlington Players is on Lang St. I spent a long tome over there looking for the theatre. I was lucky someone knew where the TJ Theatre was and was further guided by a policeman giving someone a ticket at Glebe and 2nd St. Otherwise I don’t think I would ever have found the theatre.. But a great show when I got there. jane