Thursday, March 8, 2007

42. A Funny Thing

The Thespians of the Western Pacific staged A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum on February 24, 2007 at the MHS gym.

The show is a hilarious romp through ancient Rome, where Senex (Antonio Tiples) is henpecked by his wife, Domina (Jocelyn Lonsdale), but plans a quiet escape from her while in the countryside;

their son Hero (Tommy Baik) falls in love with a would-be courteson, Philia (Tikla Brown)

and the old neighbor, Erroneus (Jongwon Lee) searches for his long lost son and daughter. Only Pseudolus (Ryan Gutierrez), the slave, is complaining because he wants his freedom.

Pseudolus decides to win his freedom by arranging for a tryst between Hero and Philia. Lycus (Matt Wheat), the purveyor of the courtesans, tries to interest Hero in the other courtesans like Gymnasia (Joan Liwanag), but gladly accepts payment for Philia when Hero insists on her, except that Lycus has already arranged for Philia's marriage to the military leader, Miles Gloriosus (Moon Hyo Lee).
Pseudolus tries to get the contract for Philia from Miles through a fantastic ruse.

Hysterium (Christian Cruz), another slave, poses as the betrothed "lovely" Philia. Too bad that Senex unexpectedly finds himself attracted to the beauty.

And then Hysterium pretends to be dead. Pseudolus hopes to convince Miles that, with his bride dead, Miles can move on to other pastures, and thereby give room for the possibility that Hero and Philia end up together so Pseudolus can gain his freedom.

The ploy comes undone.
Filled with songs like Comedy Tonight, Lovely, and Everybody Ought to Have a Maid, the show is rollicking good fun. The supporting cast of Proteans/soldiers and Courtesans dash around the stage, sing lustily and enhance the humor.
And everyone gets a happy ending, with Erroneus learning that Miles is his son and Philia is his daughter, which puts an end to Miles' betrothal, unites Hero and Philia, and provides Pseudolus with his freedom. Happily ever after, for all.

Well, except for Senex, who is still married to Domina.
The TWPI did a great job staging the show, getting laughs with the right timing. The audiences for the two performances on Saturday were enthusiastic, if small. And the student thespians, along with the student band, and the student tech-crew, proved once again how talented and hard-working our kids are. Kudos to them all.

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