- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
- SONY Centre for the Performing Arts
- Playing Until Jan 16th
The odds are pretty much in the producers’ favour that they will have a hit with this show. Story by Larry Gelbart, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, directed by Des McAnuff and brought to the commercial stage by Mirvish Productions. With this pedigree, chances are you will enjoy yourself. A funny thing just hit me, if you do not know who all of the aforementioned are, please (as they say) Google the names.
There are two leads currently sharing the role at various productions –- I saw Bruce Dow and am a happier person for it. While watching Mr. Dow, I see Zero Mostel shtick mixed in with the comedic presence of Nathan Lane. Mr. Dow is neither Mostel nor Lane, but holds his own quite well. He is in control of his actions as he needs to be in order to convince us that he can come up with so many crazy ideas at the drop of a hat. He gets caught and manages to escape and diffuse any complicated situation with such speed and such deliberate action that one knows he will succeed.
His character Pseudolus needs speed, agility and stage presence. Mr. Dow displayed all three at yesterday’s performance. Joining him on stage in equally wonderful and clever interpretations of their roles are Stephen Sutcliffe as Hysterium, Chilina Kennedy as Philia (a virgin) and Dan Chameroy as the warrior Miles Gloriosus.
There are NO weak performances in this cast. Many of the actors were in the original production which was performed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 2009. It is not often that a not-for-profit production transfers onto the commercial stage. Broadway and London’s West End have a history of scooping up little shows and making them huge hits. A Chorus Line, RENT, HAIR and many more. We must be proud and moreover supportive when it happens here. When a producer such as David Mirvish invests time, energy and money to bring such delights as this one to his splendid theatre, we owe him the courtesy of buying a ticket. May I strongly urge you to do so… not just to support theatre, but also to have one hell of a good time!