A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 

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Ancient Rome meets the borscht belt in this 1962 musical by Bert Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (his first crack at writing both--and what a crack!). Based on the comedies of Plautus, the story revolves around slave Pseudolus's attempt to win his freedom by helping his master's son marry a courtesan who's been sold to a military captain. Despite a competent ensemble and some wonderful performances--including Guy Adkins as a sprightly Pseudolus, Dale Benson as befuddled Erronius, and Catherine Smitko as Domina--this high-speed farce never finds its center. Adkins's antics with Bernie Yvon as sidekick Hysterium command so much focus that we lose sight of what they're scrambling, sweating, and disguising themselves to achieve. Director Dominic Missimi needs to right the pillar. Through 9/11: Wed-Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:30 PM, Sun 1 and 5 PM. Also 1 PM Wed. Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Rte. 21 (Milwaukee Ave.), Lincolnshire, 847-634-0200. $42-$45.

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