Walnut Street Theatre opens its landmark 209th season with the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Directed by, and starring, Frank Ferrante, with choreography by Michelle Gaudette, this production begins previews on September 5, opens on September 13 and runs through October 22 on the Walnut’s Mainstage.
This classic musical is fast-paced, witty, irreverent and one of the funniest Broadway shows ever written! A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum follows the story of Pseudolus, a crafty slave who struggles to win the hand of a beautiful, but slow-witted, courtesan named Philia for his young master, Hero, in exchange for freedom. The plot twists and turns with cases of mistaken identity, slamming doors, and a bevy of beautiful showgirls. This unforgettable, hysterical musical comedy will have you laughing all the way to the Forum with “something for everyone, a comedy tonight!”
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum premiered on Broadway on May 1, 1962. The production won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Author of a Musical. The show has had two Broadway revivals, one in 1972, and again in 1996 starring Nathan Lane. Its West End premiere came in 1963, followed by a 1986 revival. The show had a limited-run at London’s Royal National Theatre in 2004, which was nominated for the Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production. The show also became a film in 1966 with Zero Mostel recreating his starring role from the Broadway production.
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum was the first Broadway show for which Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics.
Director and actor Frank Ferrante returns to the Walnut as director and as Pseudolus.
The Walnut welcomes back Brandon O’Rourke as the romantic Hero. O’Rourke was most recently seen on Walnut’s Mainstage in the title role of Peter and the Starcatcher. Hero’s parents, Senex and Domina will be played by Ron Wisniski and Mary Martello.
Scott Greer returns to the Walnut as the loyal Hysteruim, slave to Senex and Domina. The young, beautiful Philia will be played by Alanna J. Smith. Fran Prisco will play Lycus, the owner of the house of courtesans. Bill Van Horn, another Walnut veteran, will play Erronius. Warrior Miles Gloriosus will be played by Nichalas L. Parker.
The Proteans will be played by the comedic trio Ben Dibble, Jennie Eisenhower and Dave Jadico. The ensemble includes Walnut veterans Sara Brophy, Anne Connors, Billy D. Hart, Kimberly Maxson, Ellie Mooney and Kerri Rose, who will play an array of characters from soldiers to courtesans.
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum runs at the Walnut September 5 through October 22. Open captioning will be available for the Sunday, October 1st, 7pm performance. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.