reviewed by Paula Citron
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart
Directed by Des McAnuff
Starring Bruce Dow, Stephen Ouimette, Mike Nadajewski, Chilina Kennedy, Randy Hughson, Deann deGruijter, Dan Chameroy, Brian Tree and Cliff Saunders
At the Avon Theatre until Nov. 1
The long suit of Des McAnuff as a director would appear to be musicals, especially if he can add in technical wizardry. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is zany in every possible way, from the frantic actions of the characters, to John Arnone’s set that has more moveable parts than a Rube Goldberg machine.
The irrepressible Bruce Dow has the plum part as Pseudolus and he has great fun being outrageous, ably abetted by Stephen Ouimette’s hysterical Hysterium. The rest of the cast throw themselves into the riotous antics with gusto.
The classic musical is already gilded by a very funny book and Stephen Sondheim’s witty lyrics. What McAnuff and his team add on is over-the-top slapstick and farce. Sooner or later, even the worst curmudgeon is going to have to give up and just laugh out loud.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum continues at the Avon Theatre until Nov. 1.