For the first time in three years, a musical will be performed on campus as a joint venture between the drama and music departments.
“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. each evening for two consecutive weekends, April 5 through 7 and April 12 through 14, in the Bruce Owen Theater.
This classic vaudeville comedy was written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Music and lyrics were created by Stephen Sondheim. The musical debuted on Broadway in 1962.
Students have been rehearsing for five weeks, said Director Brent Noel, theater professor.
“We chose this because it is one of the funniest musicals ever written,” Noel said.
“It has a great mix of song, slapstick comedy and sophisticated humor.”
Freshman theater arts major Calven Shanon will play the role of Hysterium, one of the slaves in the story.
“It’s my first musical and I have really enjoyed singing and dancing,” Shanon said. “The show is going to be great. It is very silly and funny.”
“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” takes comedy back to its roots, according to the Music Theatre International. It combines situations from 2000-year-old comedies of Roman playwright Plautus with the energy of classic vaudeville.
The result is a non-stop laugh-fest in which a crafty slave struggles to win the hand of a beautiful but slow-witted courtesan for his young master, in exchange for freedom.
“There is lots of physical running around and mistaken identities,” sophomore theater arts major Taylor Reich said. “It’s just a good time.”
Admission to the show is $8 for students, $15 for general admission. A free showing will be held Thursday, April 5, for all OCCC faculty, staff, and students with a valid ID.
“You should expect a fast-paced farce based on traditional Roman comedy,” Noel said. There will be many familiar plot devices: mistaken identity, romantic complications, and stock characters including the hen-pecked husband, the nagging wife, the young lovers, the conniving servant.
“There is even a chase scene,” he said.
For more information, contact Noel at BNoel@occc.edu, or at 405-682-1611, ext. 7246.
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