‘Forum’ a Funny Show at The Muny

Harry Hamm

harry star 4stars Forum a Funny Show at The Muny

It’s unusual that the real life backstage story of a musical production is every bit as appealing as what’s on stage, but that’s the case this week at The Muny with “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” When Peter Scolari was felled from the lead role of Pseudolus because of illness, The Muny reached out to Jeffrey Schecter, who had just performed at The Muny in “The Little Mermaid.” He was back on a plane from New York and in true show business tradition returned to make certain the show would go on. True, he has to have the script in hand for much of the evening, but soon you won’t even notice as Schecter wins the audience over with his talent and the heart of a show-biz trouper.

forum 3 Forum a Funny Show at The Muny

Photo courtesy of The Muny

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” has most of it’s musical numbers jammed into the Act 1, with Act II more attuned to fast-paced, silly slap-stick and rapid comedy lines. The story of a con-artist slave in ancient Rome trying to work several angles to win his freedom, (the role played by Schecter,) “Forum” has a lot of opportunities for belly laughs and this cast doesn’t miss many, especially in Act II.

forum 6 Forum a Funny Show at The Muny

Photo courtesy of The Muny

Whit Reichert is hilarious in the featured of Erronius, a nearly blind old man continually circling the hills of Rome in hopes of being reunited with his long, lost children. Reichert is an accomplished scene-stealer of the first order.

forum 7 Forum a Funny Show at The Muny

Photo courtesy of The Muny

Muny favorite John Tartaglia is simply hilarious as Hysterium, arguable the most challenging role in the show. Mark Linn-Baker makes for an excellent Senex, a hen-pecked husband whose dreams of wooing a young virgin never quite come true.

forum 5 Forum a Funny Show at The Muny

Photo courtesy of The Muny

This company of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is going to become a part of a Muny legend, thanks to Jeffrey Schecter’s bravura performance and a cast that refused to be daunted by the pending lack of a leading man. And take my advice. You’ll want to say, “I was there.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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