YSU Theater stages musical farce

Youngstown State University Theater stages the classic musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” for a two-weekend run.

“Forum” was the first Broadway production to feature music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and earned the composer his first Tony Award. The original Broadway production won six Tonys and ran for more than two years.

The farce, with a book by Larry Gelbart and Burt Shevelove, tells the story of  Pseudolus, the laziest slave in Rome. His only wish is to purchase his freedom.

When his master and mistress leave for the day, he finds out that the young master has fallen in love with a virgin in the house of Lycus, a slave dealer specializing in beautiful women. Pseudolus concocts a deal in which he will be freed if he can procure the girl for young Hero. Of course, being a farce, everything begins to go wrong.

Nancy Anderson Wolfgang directs a cast featuring Ben Mowrer, Mac Callahan, Simon Davis, Stefon Funderburke, Katie Jerome, Gabby Martin, Jacob Emerson, Aaron Gutauckas, Angelique Tanner, AnnMarie Lowerre, Halla Henry, Mia Colon, Jessica Hirsh, Makenzie Moorman, Jacob Nash, Tristan Kile, DJ Davis and Daniel Navabi.

Ellen E. Jones is scenic / lighting designer, Todd Dicken is production manager, Katherine Garlick is costume designer, Rebel Mickelson is costume shop supervisor and Ian Leroy is music director.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Dec. 2 and 3 and 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 4 at Bliss Hall’s Ford Theater. There will be no performances Thanksgiving weekend.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $8 for non-YSU students, YSU faculty and staff with valid ID, senior citizens, Penguin Club members and groups of eight or more. YSU student tickets are free with valid ID. Tickets are available by calling 330-941-3105 or going to www.ysu.tix.com.

Blissful Beginnings, an informal artwalk designed to showcase the arts in the College of Creative Arts & Communication, will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. Patrons are invited to the opening reception for the fall graduating BFA exhibition at the McDonough Museum of Art, view guest artist Timothy Massey’s current exhibit in Bliss Hall’s Judith Rae Solomon Gallery and enjoy musical entertainment in the theater lobby prior to the show opening.