A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Nov. 21—Jan. 5 $20–$110
Sidney Harman Hall
610 F St. NW, Washington, DC
(202) 547-1122
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is the sort of clownish enterprise that sustains copious ad-libbing and fourth-wall breaking. The show now comes furnished with a Roman Polanski joke. “What, too soon?” asks Bruce Dow as Pseudolus, improvising till his round, red face turns blue. The scheming slave must win Philia (Lora Lee Gayer), a woman bred to be “Lovely” (cue song) and helpless, for his master, Hero (Owen Wilson lookalike Nick Verina, in a good-hearted but hapless Wilson-type role), in exchange for his promised freedom. The wrinkle is that the procurer Marcus Lycus (Danny Rutigliano) has already sold Philia to Miles Gloriosus, a military leader en route to collect his property. The jinks that ensue are, it will not surprise you to learn, of the hi- persuasion. There are multiple cases of mistaken identity, both accidental and deliberate. There are slaves and whores who are all just stressed-out working stiffs. There are jokes that recur until they have no cur left. There are, above all, great songs well-sung, that will be elbowing each other in your mind’s ear on your way out. [CK]

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May 17—June 26
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