Woodminster Summer Musicals Presents A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
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Published on Aug 8, 2012
Woodminster Summer Musicals
Oakland's Summer Theater Under the Stars
Summer 2012 -- 46th consecutive season of musical theater in Oakland's beautiful Joaquin Miller Park
Press contact: Kathy Kahn, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-418-8523
Theater contact: Harriet Schlader, email@example.com, 510-531-9597
Woodminster Summer Musicals Presents A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum August 10-19
Hilarious Slapstick Farce Will Continue Woodminster's 46th Season in Oakland
July 25, 2012, Oakland, CA -- Producers Associates, Inc. will continue the 46th season of the Woodminster Summer Musicals with an early Stephen Sondheim show, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, playing August 10-19 at Woodminster Amphitheater in Oakland's Joaquin Miller Park.
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum will be performed at 8 p.m. on August 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, and 19. Tickets are $27-$56, with discounts for children and seniors, and half-price tickets for groups of 25. The organization also continues its Preview Night, instituted in 2010, which opens the last dress rehearsal to the public for a flat $12 at the door. The Preview for Forum will be Thursday, August 9, at 8 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased online at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/34148, or through the theater box office at 510-531-9597, or in person in advance or at the door. Complete information about all ticketing options is available at http://www.woodminster.com/Webpages/T....
Woodminster continues its Kids Come Free program, which provides free tickets each season to children and teens 16 or younger. These free tickets are available the night of the performance (not in advance) and some restrictions apply, but over the last 15 years, Kids Come Free has become an institution at Woodminster, and the board was unwilling to discontinue it when the organization lost its major funder for this program this year. The program will continue, and the organization is seeking funding to help keep it alive after this season.
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, inspired by the stories of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus, is classic farce meets vaudeville, slapstick comedy all mixed up with satirical humor about romantic love and social class. The show tells the bawdy story of a slave named Pseudolus and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door. According to Music Theatre International, "Broadway's greatest farce is light, fast-paced, witty, irreverent and one of the funniest musicals ever written."
Forum's original 1963 Broadway production won several Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book. It has had several Broadway and West End revivals. Every actor who has opened in the role of Pseudolus on Broadway (Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers and Nathan Lane) won a Best Actor Tony Award for their performance.
In the Woodminster production, the show-stopping role will be played by Trente Morant, an actor who is also well-known to Bay Area audiences as a conductor, arranger, performer, and musical director. In recent years, he has performed roles including the Leading Player in Pippin at ACLO, Lou in Hairstory at Theatre Rhino (original production), Five Guys Named Mo at the California Conservatory Theater in San Leandro, Sportin' Life in a concert version of Porgy & Bess with Michael Morgan and the East Bay Symphony, and the Swan with the Oakland Ballet in Carmina Burana. He has been Artistic Director of Oakland Youth Chorus, Musical Director of the Hayward Little Theater, and has conducted at both the Monterey and San Francisco Jazz Festivals.
Says Harriet Schlader, Managing Director of Producers Associates, "If you want to laugh your head off, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum is your show. It's one joke after another, which is why it's been a vehicle for some of the greatest comic actors of our time. Parents may want to be aware that there is some risque humor. It's not very explicit by the standards of modern television, and it definitely seemed naughtier 50 years ago, but bawdy humor never goes out of style."
The Woodminster production of Forum is directed by Joel Schlader. Choreography is by Jon Gourdine, with music direction by Richard Vetterli and vocal direction by Kim Vetterli.
Woodminster Summer Musicals are performed under the stars at Woodminster Amphitheater, an open-air performance facility in Joaquin Miller Park high in the Oakland Hills. The park's spectacular views and serene woodsy environment made it the perfect setting for the amphitheater, cascades, reflecting pool, and paths that were originally built as a WPA project in 1939-40. For many East Bay families, it is a long-standing summer tradition to enjoy a picnic in the park and then see a musical at Woodminster.
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