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FX Players A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

By • May 3rd, 2009 • Category: Cappies

Love, archetypical characters and vibrant colors paint a “pretty little picture” onstage at Fairfax High School as the FX Players prepare to perform a “comedy tonight.” This comedy being none other than the bawdy and ever popular, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

With a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, this is Stephen Sondheim’s first Broadway musical with sole credit to both music and lyrics. Also a successful movie, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, won several Tony Awards including Best Musical and has enjoyed numerous critically acclaimed revivals.

Emulating farce, early Roman theatre and Comedia-Del-Arte, Forum tells the tale of Pseudolus (Jeremy Tuohy), a witty slave, who longs for freedom and will do anything to be set free. When his young master Hero (John Miller) offers him freedom if he can get his love Philia (Phoebe Torres), a courtisan, for him, Pseudolus cannot refuse. Upon agreeing, he runs into major problems, realizing that Philia has been sold to Captain Miles Gloriosus (Zach Goubeaux). Cross-dressing, humor and chaos ensue as he desperately attempts to procure the lady for whom his lovestruck master longs but will Pseudolus gain his freedom or will he fail in his attempt? (I’ll give you a hint. It’s a comedy!)

Anchored by leads with exceptional comedic timing, The FX Players production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum, was an exciting romp that tickled the funny bone.

Jeremy Tuohy, with enthusiasm, gusto and an excellent stage presence, carried the production with ease. He shared excellent chemistry with fellow slave, Hysterium, portrayed by Mikail Faalasli. Faalasli had superb characterization and amused whenever he stumbled onstage. Both were particularly hilarious during the reprise of Lovely. John Miller and Pheobe Torres both gave believable performances as the young lovers, Hero and Philia.

Maddy Goubeaux gave an excellent performance as the batty Domina and showed excellent singing range in “That Dirty Old Man.” Portraying the archetypical Roman Soldier, Miles Gloriosus was Zach Goubeaux with charisma and a powerful baritone. Both Jesse Free and Tem Weiland brought further comedy into the show as Senex and Erronius.

Standing out among the many ensembles were Jess Rawls, Patrick Turner and Sheila Faalasli. While in minor roles, each created memorable moments onstage.

Forum’s technical aspects were solid. A vivid and colorful array of lights (Mike Luu and Luke Cresson), costumes (Bailey Johnson and Katelyn Schultz) and sets (Bailey Ewing) were amplified by the detail of John Hobson and Colleen O’Brien‘s props.

The FX Players opened with the fabulously energized song, “Comedy Tonight,” and did not slow down from there. Begging for one word before his death at the end of the first act, Pseudolus proclaims “intermission!”. If he had said one word at the end of the second act, it would have been “bravo!”.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will also be performed this weekend, May 8th and 9th. Don’t miss it.

by Steven Einhorn of Robert E. Lee High School

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