It has been awhile since I’ve been able to attend a play. This musical comedy was a good choice to bring my spirits up. A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, performed by the Spreckels Theatre Company was well attended on this particular Saturday evening performance. This was originally a 1963 Tony Award winning Broadway play which was also made into a movie a few years later. I’ve not had the privilege of seeing any of these previous versions. I found my first experience with this story delightful and entertaining. It seemed a little slow at first but that is the norm for most stories as one is introduced to the various characters. The second half picked up the pace and was quite comical as it moved towards the grand finale. Tim Setzer as Pseudolus had a huge role and was rarely off the stage for more than a minute or two. Matthew Lindberg as Hero, Alan Kafton as Hysterium, and Matthew Proschold as Miles Glorious stood out in their roles as well.
Director Gene Abravaya shared his vision of the future for Spreckels with a group of us before the play. He hopes to see Spreckels become one of the main performing theaters in Sonoma County, someplace that people young and old will think of first when they say, “Where can we go for some good entertainment?” With the great talent pool of actors he has to choose from in this area, I see that as a very attainable goal. Now it’s up to us to help get the word out about this wonderful venue. I am looking forward to the next production this group puts on. But in the mean time, I recommend seeing this show before it’s over.
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Burt Shevelove and Lary Gelbert
Directed by Gene Abravaya
Music Direction by Sandy and Richard Riccardi
Feb. 8-17, 2013
More info: Spreckels Performing Arts Center