From left to right, Marcus Lycus (Jake Loomis), Gemini (Allison Harrison), Pseudolus (Andrew Samson), Hero (Patrick Fuller) and Panacea (Lindsay Tallian) perform in “Something Funny Happened On The Way To The Forum.” (Courtesy photos)
GREENVILLE — The Flat River Community Players deliver a generous portion of comedy and give a really good musical performance with the Stephen Sondheim lyrics in their production of the Broadway classic, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”
Celebrating their 40th year of entertaining the Greenville area, the FRCP cast will make you giggle, belly laugh and even guffaw with their comedic lines. And the music adds its own texture and expands the comedy, making the entire production lots of fun.
Andrew Samson in the lead role as Pseudolus, a Roman slave who schemes to be free, is truly funny. His facial expression, body language, and timing combine to provide the audience with lots of laughs. And his singing voice isn’t half bad either.
Kudos, also, to Dennis Hess who plays the family slave, Hysterium. Hess understands comedy and delivers an enjoyable performance, especially when he is masquerading as the beautiful maiden, Philia.
Patrick Fuller as Hero, is delightful as the love-sick son of a noble Roman. Hero desires the maiden Philia, played by Becca Sikina, a rookie in theater. She is no rookie, however, in the singing department. She has a beautiful voice as Philia and hopefully we’ll hear much more from her in future FRCP musicals.
Philia has been sold to a Roman Guard captain, played by another awesome singer, Ryan W. Garlick. As Capt. Mile Gloriosus, Garlick’s singing projects extremely well. He does a good job of delivering the comedy, adding to the fun, especially in the second act.
Lots of zany moments come from Jeremiah Souza and Andy Smith, who zip around off and on stage as the “Proteans,” changing into multiple roles and several different costumes. Souza and Smith get a workout, but they rarely miss an entrance and always stay in whichever character is called for at the moment.
This is a strong cast, filled with actors who are not afraid to let the comedy flow. Their hard work is entertainment pay dirt for audiences who will enjoy Ric Devon Davenport and Katy McDonough, Senex and Domina, as parents of Hero; Kent Schuster as Erronius, an old man who lost his children to pirates in the past and continues to search for them; and Jake Loomis as Marcus Lycus, local owner of the house of courtesans. The courtesans, in great costumes, are Kim Brundage as Gymnasia, Allison Harrison as Gemini, Macy Risch as Vibrata, Patty Rockafellow as Tintinabula, and Lindsay Tallian as Panacea.
True, much of the humor in “Forum” depends on sexual hijinks but it’s fast-paced timing keeps it light enough for all audiences. Credit for the sheer joy of “Forum” goes to Director Tim Addis and Music Director Val Vandermark, both veterans in community theatre. And the orchestra is made up of talented local musical veterans who keep the music light, entertaining and spot-on in supporting the comedy.
Co-produced by FRCP veterans Hilda Sorvari and Deb Dieckman, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is well-worth a family night out. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, as well as 7:30 p.m. July 18 and 19 at the Greenville Community Center.
Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for students and senior citizens and may be ordered online using the Show Clix link at the Players’ website, www.frcp.org or by calling 1-888-71-TICKETS. Tickets also will be available at the door.
From left, Pseudolus (Andrew Samson), Erronius (Kent Schuster) and Hysterium (Dennis Hess) perform in “Something Funny Happened On The Way To The Forum.”