Saturday, 1 April 2006

BSU production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum

Just got back from opening night of the campus production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which is a musical comedy. As it starts on 7.29 p.m. (or so it says on the tickets), so me, that uncle (who has to write a paper on it for his voice class) and Yunn Hanm left at about 7 p.m. sharp (Malaysians being punctual - that's a first, haha) for the performing arts building (Bangsberg). 'Twas a nice walk outside, a little nippy - but nice, nonetheless.

Got there, saw a coursemate of ours and chatted for a bit before heading upstairs to the main stage. Seats that we got were nice - third row centre - so the view was pretty great too. We also made fun of the character names that were listed in the programme (Senex, Hysterium, Erotica, Domina... how not to poke fun?).

In true theatre fashion, it did not start on time: it started at about 7.35 p.m.

Long story short, it turned out to be better than I expected and it's one of the funniest things I ever saw. More so with the fourth wall element when most of the male characters in the company addresses the audience. I was laughing harder when Pseudolus had to take a call on his cell in the middle of a scene and when the old man Erronius (in finding his long lost children that have been abducted by pirates, was told to run the hills of Rome seven times by Pseudolus the "sooth sayer") plugged into an iPod his second trip round the hills. I also really liked how they worked into the scene when they wanted to break into intermission.

Not even going to discuss the story cos one can Google it, but it's basically about how a slave helps his master get this courtesan chick (who is already bought by a captain) for his freedom; and the things that could possibly go wrong did. The ending was a happy one despite the messy unravelling of the plot.

Also had some opening night cake (they celebrate opening night here with cake) before going back to resume our lives.

The only song that I could remember (because they did it for opening and closing) was Comedy Tonight.

[PSEUDOLUS]
Something familiar,
Something peculiar,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Something appealing,
Something appalling,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Nothing with kings, nothing with crowns;
Bring on the lovers, liars and clowns!

Old situations,
New complications,
Nothing portentous or polite;
Tragedy tomorrow,
Comedy tonight!

Something convulsive,
Something repulsive,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Something aesthetic,
Something frenetic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Nothing with gods, nothing with fate;
Weighty affairs will just have to wait!

Nothing that's formal,
Nothing that's normal,
No recitations to recite;
Open up the curtain:
Comedy Tonight!

Something erratic,
Something dramatic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Frenzy and frolic,
Strictly symbolic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

[ENTIRE COMPANY]
Something familiar,
Something peculiar,
Something for everybody:
Comedy tonight!
Something that's gaudy,
Something that's bawdy--

[PSEUDOLUS]
Something for everybawdy!

[ENTIRE COMPANY]
Comedy tonight!

[MILES GLORIOSUS]
Nothing that's grim.

[DOMINA]
Nothing that's Greek.

[PSEUDOLUS]
[Indicating DOMINA:]
She plays Medea later this week.

[WOMEN]
Stunning surprises!

[MEN]
Cunning disguises!

[ALL]
Hundreds of actors out of sight!

[ERRONIUS]
Pantaloons and tunics!

[SENEX]
Courtesans and eunuchs!

[HERO]
Funerals and chases!

[LYCUS]
Baritones and basses!

[PHILIA]
Panderers!

[HERO]
Philanderers!

[HYSTERIUM]
Cupidity!

[MILES]
Timidity!

[LYCUS]
Mistakes!

[ERRONIUS]
Fakes!

[DOMINA]
Rhymes!

[PHILIA]
Crimes!

[PSEUDOLUS]
Tumblers!
Grumblers!
Bumblers!
Fumblers!

[ALL]
No royal curse, no Trojan horse,
And a happy ending, of course!
Goodness and badness,
Panic is madness--
This time it all turns out all right!
Tragedy tomorrow,
Comedy tonight!


- Wikipedia article
- Lyrics to the songs in the show