Home Entertainment Forum’s Funny Bone Missing In The Wick’s Vaudevillian Farce

Forum’s Funny Bone Missing In The Wick’s Vaudevillian Farce

Ken Jennings, left, and Michael Ursua, right, leads a group of lascivious citizens (Photos by Amy Pasquantonio)

By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, for  SouthFloridaReporter.com, Oct. 7, 2015 – There’s only one reason that A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum has held onto its longevity in the pantheon of great American musical theater – legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics. Otherwise this musty old chestnut would be locked away in a crypt somewhere.

The show had its Broadway opening in 1962 and received six 1963 Tony Awards. It was made into a movie in 1966, revived in 1972 starring Phil Silvers, and revived again on Broadway in 1996, starring Nathan Lane. Mickey Rooney played the lead in a touring production in 1987. Countless community theaters, colleges and high schools have staged productions of Forum. The musical opens at Boca Raton’s The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum for its third season.

Perhaps all the antics in the 53-year-old play should be taken tongue-in-cheek. No doubt, because it’s set in Ancient Rome, it slightly takes the sting out of a sexist plot that involves non-stop tomfoolery where lecherous men ogle courtesans (a.k.a. prostitutes), a soldier pays a hefty sum to ensure his mail-order bride is a virgin, and a married man past-his-prime man hopes to seduce the virgin before his wife returns from the country.

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