Register now for summer classes. For info, go to "Education" tab.
To see what we have planned for the 2013-14 season, download our
subscription brochure at "Current Season," click on "Packages/Group Sales."
Racine Theatre Guild wraps up 75th season with
“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”
Last season, audiences selected, from musicals previously staged at the Racine Theatre Guild, the show they most wanted to see as grand finale of the 75th anniversary season. They picked a Tony Award-winning musical farce filled with togas and mischief, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” to play May 10-26 at the RTG, 2519 Northwestern Avenue (Highway 38) in Racine.
The book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart (“M*A*S*H”), complemented by a clever Stephen Sondheim score, make “Forum” enjoyably naughty, with no higher intention than to be funny—and it is. It has the classic elements of farce: puns, satire, slamming doors, mistaken identities and disguises. Song highlights include “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid” and the famous “Comedy Tonight.” The original 1963 production won multiple Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. It has been produced three times each on Broadway and in London’s West End.
Set in ancient Rome, a cunning slave named Pseudolus (Bob Hansen) has a burning desire for freedom, and he figures out a way to get it. His young master, Hero (Patrick Schneider), is in love with Philia (Brittany Daniels), a courtesan in the house of Marcus Lycus (George Mangold). Philia, however, has been promised to the great warrior Miles Gloriosus (Adam Flores). Slave Pseudolus convinces master Hero to agree to set him free if he can get the girl. That will take a lot of conniving and maneuvering, especially since head slave Hysterium (David Geisler) is keeping a close watch while Hero’s parents, Senex (Bob Canary) and Domina (Robbyn Wilks), are away.
The RTG cast is completed by Larry Gregg, Michael Kroes, Jay Rattle, Ryan Simonsen, Caitlin McCrory, Sara Rae Lancaster, Julie Moore, Rebekah Bryan, Elizabeth Schauf and Alicia Nelson.
In the director’s chair for the Racine Theatre Guild is Norman McPhee. Judith Gasser is music director and Katharine Zavada is choreographer. Sarah Hunt-Frank designed the set. Fran Maccanelli heads the volunteer crew as production stage manager.
The Racine Theatre Guild originally produced “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” in 1979. It was the first RTG show to travel abroad, and was performed three times in England and Austria. Cast members Bob Canary and George Mangold are reprising their 1979 roles. Likewise, Norm McPhee, Kate Zavada and costume designer Cynthy McCrory return to the production positions they filled 34 years ago.
Sponsored by Rasmussen Diamonds, performances of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” are scheduled May 10-26, with shows each weekend at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings and at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoons. There are also performances at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 (followed by a free talkback with cast and crew); at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, and Thursday, May 23; and at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 25.
Ticket holders to the opening night performance on May 10 are invited to a reception afterwards. Members of the original cast and crew are encouraged to attend and will each be given a pair of tickets to the show (please call the box office to reserve).
The adult ticket price is $19 for 7:30 p.m. shows, $15 on Thursday night, and $17 at all other times. Discounts are available for seniors (62+), subscribers, groups of 12 or more, and students (21 and under). The show is not recommended for young children. Box office hours are 12 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 90 minutes prior to curtain through intermission at performances. For tickets, call 262-633-4218 or order online at www.racinetheatre.org (note: discounts and coupons cannot be applied to online orders).