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Ptarmigan Ptheatrics prep for spring comedy

A local theater group is performing a popular Broadway musical comedy for this year's spring production.

Ptarmigan Ptheatrics will debut A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum on Thursday, April 26. 

Dylan Short/ NNSL photo
Ray Bethke, left, and Scott Williams, Right, perform a scene from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at NACC.
(April 21, 2018)

Stephen Sondheim’s joyous, musical romp through ancient Rome tells the tale of Pseudolus, a slave who has to fight for his freedom by uniting his master with a forbidden love.

“[Pseudolus] figures that if he can get this girl and his master together, his master has promised him his freedom” said Scott Williams, who plays Pseudolus.

To do so, Pseudolus resorts to all kinds of trickery, abetted reluctantly by fellow-slave Hysterium.

Pseudolus tries to maneuver with resourcefulness and wit but all of his schemes seem to backfire, entangling him ever tighter into a knot of deception.

Anyone planning on seeing the play can expect to be entertained with an arrange of different styles of comedy from slapstick, to a number of innuendos, said Williams.

“It's very comedic,” said Williams. “Lots of timing jokes, all centred around this guy trying to get his freedom.”

While past Ptarmigan Ptheatric productions, such as last year's production of The Sound of Music may have been more well known to the public, Williams believes that this particular Broadway show will be a hit with Northern audiences.

“There was a revival in 1996 of this show,” said Williams. “It ran on Broadway for something like 900 performances, it won all of the Tony awards in the day and then got made into a movie.”

Lynn Elkin, stage manager and directorial lead, said the production is allowing the theatre troupe to try something new.

“A funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum is a really fun show, it's high energy, It's quite different then some of the shows we've done before,” said Elkin. “We decided that even though it's a show that people didn't necessarily know of, that it had lots of value.”

There will be complementary Roman themed beverages at intermission for every audience member wearing a toga on opening night, she said.

“The last few years we've tried to do something special on opening night and this year is no exception,”  said Elkin. “With a theme set in Ancient Rome, what a better time than now to pull out your toga.”

While, there will only be prizes on opening night, Elkin said that anyone that attends any of the plays showings can still where their togas if they choose to.

The play is running from April 26 to 28 and  May 2 to 5. Show time is 8 p.m.