A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum — Fridays & Saturdays, May 3 & 4, 10 & 11 @ 7:00, Sundays, May 5 & 12 @ 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Northark Drama and the
Ozark Arts Council Present:
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Fridays & Saturdays, May 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 7:00PM
Sundays, May 5 & 12, 2:00PM

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times: do not fan the girls when they’re wet! But you’ll never learn; you’ll be a eunuch all your life!
 – Marcus Lycus

This May, come to the Lyric for something familiar…something peculiar…something for everyone…yes, it’s “a comedy tonight”! In fact it’s the comedy of comedies that transcends time and space, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum! Produced by NorthArk Drama and The Theatre Company of the Ozarks, in association with the Ozark Arts Council and under license from Music Theatre International, Forum brings a full 21 centuries of laughs from Rome to the Lyric stage on May 3, 4, 10, 11 at 7:00PM and May 5, 12 at 2:00PM. Tickets are available through TheLyric.org with Advance Tickets priced at $8 children, $10 seniors, $12 adults. Ticket prices at the door will be $11 children, $13 seniors, $15 adults.

Set in Rome during the first century A.D., when the Roman Empire was in its youth, the film opens with one of musical theatre’s most famous songs, “Comedy Tonight,” performed by Pseudolus (Preston Garrison). The action, Pseudolus tells the audience, takes place in Rome around three adjacent houses: the house of Erronius (Clark Middleton), an old man who has been searching for his children who were stolen by pirates while they were infants; the house of Marcus Lycus (Jamie Taylor), a buyer and seller of beautiful women, and the house of Senex (Jim Gresham), a Roman senator, his wife, Domina (Ann Lemley), their son, Hero (Laine Hilliard), and the family slaves, Pseudolus and Hysterium (Michael Amburn).

When Senex and Domina leave for the day, Hero declares his love for one of the ladies who live at his next door neighbor’s house, Philia (Katie Blessing), and that’s when Pseudolus begins to hatch a scheme to buy his own freedom.

When the two visit Lycus’s house, once they get past the eunuchs (Donovan Walters and Nicholas Prpich) they meet Tintinabula (Cady Wheeler), a bell-wearing beauty; Vibrata (Kennedy Bottoms), an energetic, lively lovely with a leopard skin bikini; the Geminae (Faith Nix and Dante Lowe), a “matched pair”; Panacea (Nikki Forehand), a seductive dancer; and Gymnasia (Spree Hilliard), with a body upon which “a thousand dramas can be played.” They and the other lovely courtesans (Lena Rocole, Jenna Wilson, Rilee Young, Kaley Jones) are tempting, but Hero and Pseudolus are alarmed to find out that Philia has been sold to the great Captain Miles Gloriosus (Caleb Lord), and will be claimed that very day.

The confusion, comedy, and chases that ensue when Captain Miles and his illustrious soldiers (Kinder Hinrichs, Laken Rudelis, Andrew Coble, Daniel Hart, Wynn Mahoney) come to claim her will have audiences
doubled over with laughter, attempting to keep up with what wackiness will occur next.

So join us again at the Lyric Theater for a fun evening, where “weighty affairs will just have to wait,” and where we promise to have “morals tomorrow, comedy tonight!”

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will be performed May 3, 4, 10, 11 at 7:00 pm, and May 5, 12 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now at TheLyric.org or by calling 870-391-3504 or visiting the Ozark Arts Council office M-W-F 8:00-2:00. Advance Tickets are $8 children, $10 seniors, $12 adults. Ticket prices at the door will be $11 children, $13 seniors, $15 adults.

OAC Ticketing Link

Play On! — Fridays & Saturdays, September 7, 8 & 14, 15 @ 7:00 & Sundays, September 9 & 16 @ 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

 

Logic Says to Call It Off, but It’s…
Play On!

Fridays & Saturdays, September 7, 8 & 14, 15 at 7:00PM
Sundays, September 9 & 16 at 2:00PM

“Oh, I so enjoy my ‘work’…!”

I’ve never had so much fun with a play in my life…!
 –  Samuel French Review

The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and the Ozark Arts Council are pleased to present, under license from Samuel French, the Rick Abbott comedy, Play On! Performances will be the second and third weekends in September. Tickets available by clicking any “Get Tickets” link on this site or by calling (870) 391-3504. Advance Tickets are $12 Adults, $10 Seniors/Students, $8 Children; tickets purchased at the door are $15 Adults, $13 Seniors/Students, and $11 for children. For tickets to the Friday, September 14 performance, which is a benefit for House of Hope‘s Hope Cottages project, please visit House of Hope (600 E. Stephenson in Harrison) or Hudson’s Supermarket (609 N. Main St. in Harrison), at a special cost of a flat $10 regardless of age.

Play On! is the hilarious story of a theatre group trying desperately to put on a play in spite of maddening interference from a haughty author who keeps revising the script. Act I is a rehearsal of the dreadful show, Act II is the near disastrous dress rehearsal, and the final act is the actual performance, in which anything that can go wrong, does. When the author decides to give

Comedy is VERY serious business!

 a speech on the state of the modern theatre during the curtain calls, the audience is treated to a madcap climax to a thoroughly hilarious romp. Even the sound effects reap their share of laughter.

Cast members and director interviewed on 726 TV show.

 

Cast of Characters: (parentheses is who the character plays in the play-within-a-play)

  • X — AGGIE MANVILLE – a stage manager and prompter.
  • X — GERALDINE “GERRY” DUNBAR – a community theatre director.
  • X — HENRY BENISH (“Lord Dudley”) – a Character Actor.
  • X — POLLY BENISH (“Lady Margaret”) – a Character Actress.
  • X — MARLA “SMITTY” SMITH (“Doris the maid”) – a supporting player.
  • X — SAUL WATSON (“Doctor Rex Forbes”) – a Villain.
  • X — BILLY CAREWE (“Stephen Sellers”) -a Juvenile.
  • X — VIOLET IMBRY (“Diana Lassiter”) – an Ingenue.
  • X — LOUISE PEARY – a sound-and-lighting-and-scenic technician.
  • X — PHYLLIS MONTAGUE – a novice playwright in the community.

About the Playwright

Rick Abbot is one of several pen names for prolific playwright Jack Sharkey (1931-1992). Mr. Sharkey was born on May 6, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois. He began writing when he was 10 years old. He graduated from college with a BA in the Creative Writing Field of the English major. After that, he taught school for two years from 1953 to 1955. In mid-1955, Mr. Sharkey enlisted in the Army. He served at Sandia Base, New Mexico as a Special Services worker. He wrote, produced, and directed one show per month for the Enlisted Men’s Club. In 1958, Mr. Sharkey went to New York to begin a full-time freelance writing career. He wrote Science Fiction stories and novels, humor articles, and mystery novels. In 1961, he returned to Chicago where he worked as joke editor for Playboy Magazine and then was Editor of the Allstate Insurance Company Magazine for 11 years from 1964-75. Mr. Sharkey wrote his first stage comedy in 1965. At the end of 1975, he went exclusively into playwriting, which he continued until a few months before his death. He has 83 published plays written under his own name and four others – Rick AbbotMonk FerrisMark Chandler, and Mike Johnson. Mike Johnson wrote only stage thrillers. All the other plays are comedies and/or musicals. The plays are performed all around the world. Mr. Sharkey passed away on September 28, 1992 after a bout with cancer.

Performances of Play On! will be Fridays & Saturdays, September 7, 8 & 14, 15 at 7:00PM and Sundays, September 9 & 16 at 7:00PM. Tickets available by clicking any “Get Tickets” link on this site or by calling (870) 391-3504. Advance Tickets are $12 Adults, $10 Seniors/Students, $8 Children; tickets purchased at the door are $15 Adults, $13 Seniors/Students, and $11 for children. For tickets to the Friday, September 14 performance, which is a benefit for House of Hope‘s Hope Cottages project, please visit House of Hope (600 E. Stephenson in Harrison) or Hudson’s Supermarket (609 N. Main St. in Harrison), at a special cost of a flat $10 regardless of age.

OAC Ticketing Link