2010-07-16 / Community

Something For Everyone, A Comedy Tonight

Chaz Peacock (Pseudious), Catherine Leib (Gymnasia) and Denna Georges (Geminae) rehearse “Comedy Tonight.” Chaz Peacock (Pseudious), Catherine Leib (Gymnasia) and Denna Georges (Geminae) rehearse “Comedy Tonight.” Members of the Rockaway Theatre Company are gearing up for this weekend’s opening of their big summer musical production.

This year, Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart’s hilarious comedy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will grace the stage of the Post Theater and audiences are in for a real treat. Forum takes us on a most amusing romp through ancient Rome, vaudeville style. The play takes several of the comedies of the ancient playwright Plautus as its basis but, with all respect due to the works of Plautus, they were never as funny as they are interpreted through the eyes of Shevelove and Gelbart. Forum had an important impact on the career of its composer, as well, as it was the first play for which Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics and the music.

Director John Gilleece works with Chaz Peacock. Director John Gilleece works with Chaz Peacock. The RTC production is directed by John Gilleece with musical direction by Jeff Arzberger. The number of talented performers who auditioned for the show was so overwhelming, that Gilleece and Arzberger decided, once again, to give two casts a chance to perform, as they did with last season’s production of Oklahoma! The show will run for four weekends. There will be a change in cast after the first two weekends. There will also be a Thursday night performance on July 22. Both casts are said to be spectacular. The Rockaway Theatre Company has built a reputation for presenting great sets and beautiful costumes and this production is no exception thanks to set builder and designer Tony Homsey and Jim Cantirino and their teams. Kudos to costumiers Peggy Vivino and Matthew Smilardi … togas haven’t looked this good or been this funny since the movie, Animal House.

Domina (Nancy Sturgis) steps on her slave, Hysterium (David Risley). Domina (Nancy Sturgis) steps on her slave, Hysterium (David Risley). A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was first produced on Broadway with Zero Mostel in 1962. A revival production starring Nathan Lane came to Broadway in 1992. If you’ve never seen either of these, or any live production of the play, you must be sure not to miss this one. Those who have seen the show are certainly looking forward to seeing it again this weekend. Call the RTC Hotline at 718-374-6400 or go to www.rockawaytheatrecompany.com for reservations. The final curtain will go down on August 7 but as RTC musicals are known to sell out quickly, advance reservations are a must!
The Courtesans rehearse their dance. The Courtesans rehearse their dance.

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