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LASD presents “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” this weekend

Is it a drama? Is it a mystery? Is it a tragedy? No! It is the Littlestown High School Spring comedy musical, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

The 1962 Broadway musical by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, with music and lyrics by the late Stephen Sondheim will be presented by the cast this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

As the curtain goes up, the audience observes a street in ancient Rome where all the action is focused on three houses. First, the house of Erroneous (Nick Albright) an old man who according to Albright just “…interrupts the show, awkwardly.”  The second house is owned by Lycus (Keira Lee), purveyor of courtesans for the Roman gentleman caller. The third house is where Sennex (Derek Reed) and Domina (Makayla Rock) live with their son, Hero (Christian Keller).

The story turns the hero and sidekick pairing on its head, featuring the sidekick as the main character. Taylor Hollie plays main character, Pseudolus, whose frenetic mind directs the cast of characters to her purpose while attempting to win her freedom. The sidekick’s sidekick is Hysterium (Trent Boritz), who finds himself unwillingly woven into Pseudolus’ plans.

“Pseudolus is a Roman slave who wants his freedom,” says Hollie. Her character was originally written as a male character. Hollie is following in the footsteps of Whoopie Goldberg who took on the role in 1997. Says Hollie, “He’s a funny little guy.”

Play goers will meet the lovely Philia (Chloe Sentz), the bride purchased by the pompous and full of himself Captain Miles Gloriosus (Chase Wootton). Unbeknownst to Miles Gloriosus, Hero and Philia are in love. Hero promises Pseudolus his freedom if Pseudolus can get Philia for him.

A host of supporting characters help with the confusion and mayhem. The courtesans include Tintinnabula (Brooke Kelly), Vibrata (Florence Vandersluys), Geminae (Acadia Farley and Rylee Griffith), Panaceea (Duda Marton), Gymnasia (Katelyn Snare), and Auxiliara (Riko Kambayashi).

Proteans and soldiers make up the balance of the cast. They are Kaelonnah Darlich, Kenzie Hull, Kaylie Kurland, and Brooklyn Pyren as Proteans. Garrett Hutchinson, Christopher Johnson, Ella Scott, and Dylan Smith are the Soldiers.

Three members of the courtesans, Marton (Brazil), Kambayashi (Japan), and Vandersluys (France) are foreign exchange students. The three young actresses spending their senior year in Adams County expressed enthusiasm about their roles, saying theater was not an extra-curricular activity in their home schools.

Directing the musical is Michael Baker along with vocal director Michael Lobaugh. Choreography is by Nikki Bull with music direction from Adam Bish.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.lasd.k12.pa.us/page/online-box-office .

Featured Image: Cast members Florence Vandersluys, Taylor Hollie, and Riko Kambayashi. [Christine Grim]

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Christina Grim grew up in Shippensburg, PA, Franklin County, and graduated from Shippensburg Area High School. She is an experienced interviewer, researcher, and news reporter, having worked for the Shippensburg News-Chronicle as a staff reporter during college. Driven by the desire to know the facts and answers to today’s issues, she takes seriously the importance of providing the best reporting possible. Ms. Grim earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Messiah College and has worked in her field, either in print or radio/streamed media for the last 25 years. As a single mother, she has learned that the best things in life come from hard work and multi-tasking. She is the mother of two adult children and two cats

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