Reviewer missed the comedy in A Funny Thing
The Tech's reviewer and I must have attended two completely different plays, because the Musical Theatre Guild's production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is one of the funniest shows I have seen in a long time.
I frequent MTG's shows and am often at odds with The Tech's reviews, but never more than this time ["Musical Theatre Guild's weak Forum is far from funny," May 9].
The reviewer obviously had a preset agenda for this show. Sending a reviewer who does not understand satire, parody, slapstick or even fun to Forum is like sending Joyce Kulhawik to comment on a Celtics game.
The overacting was completely in character for the piece. Arthur Fuscaldo's "appallingly wholesome" Hero and Lisa Reidhaar-Olson's "lovely and winsome" Philia were a hilarious counterpoint in romantic comedy.
The Tech missed the boat on Pseudolus. "Manic" seems to be your imposed trait for the character. Mike Pieck's nonchalant, in-control plotting, together with his clever asides, e.g. as the Eunuch, created a fresher characterization than either Zero Mostel brought to the film or Mickey Rooney recently brought to the revived stage version.
The Tech did not mention the well-timed, well-blocked, side-splitting Act II chase scene, or the great performances turned in by Mary-Linton Thompson as Domina and Erik Schwartz as the oppressed Jewish husband.
Rick Buellesbach's singing was completely in character. Who says one cannot sing "effectively" without turning red? It was hilarious.
Buellesbach's Ike-type general portrayal, the eunuchs as nerds, the pink flamingos, the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, were all great comic 1950's additions to the piece. Putting magic potions, slaves, and funeral pyres in 1950's Rome, NY was all part of the fun. I am sorry The Tech missed it. Director James Lopata makes it clear, if he is not quoted out of context, that he was not making a point. He ends his notes with "Erudition tomorrow; Comedy tonight."
Do not dismiss the fact that everyone around had a wonderful time. I saw no one leave without a smile. Give credit where credit is due and next time send a reviewer, not a sourpuss.