Season’s final show promises laughs from veteran cast

It’s the final curtain call at the Ring Theatre, and the Greeks are making an appearance.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” opens on Wednesday, and it is worth getting excited about.

The hysterical play is about a crafty slave named Psuedolys, played by senior Jacob Sharf, who will do anything in his power to earn his freedom and must win the hand of a courtesan for his master Hero, played by sophomore Adam Maggio. The courtesan, Phelia, played by sophomore Amandina Altomari, has already been sold to Miles Gloriosus, played by senior Trent Saunders. Psuedolys’ quest to get Phelia together with Hero is where the comedy ensues.

Did you catch all that?

“I could tell you the whole plot, but you would not have enough paper because it is so complex,” Sharf said.

The musical is an adaptation of the 1962 Broadway hit, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It has won several Tony Awards, including Best Music and Best Book, and was inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman Plautus.

“A Funny Thing” has brought in guest director Michael John McGann, who has been acting for 40 years and has directed plays at Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Hartford.

“The man is a genius,” Sharf said.  “Incredibly wise.”

For many, the production not only marks the end of the season but also the end of acting at UM. Senior Ethan Kasnett plays Hysterium, the head master of the house of Sennex. Kasnett has been in seven productions at UM, but is acting in a feature role for the first time.

“This is sadly my last UM play, but I cannot wait for opening night,” he said.  “I have always been featured as a dancer and this time I really get to showcase my acting skills.”

Though the play has not yet opened, many shows have already sold out. As a result, a third week of performances was added to the schedule.

The cast and crew are happy to be working together on the production.

“I am ecstatic to be a part of this production with such a talented cast,” Altomarie said.  “We are kind of like a family.”

If You Go:

What: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”

Where: Ring Theatre

When: Wednesday – April 28

Cost: $10-$25, free for students April 17

For more information: miami.edu/ring