When the all-male cast of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum launches their opening number, “Comedy Tonight” they won’t be kidding. Jessica Stone, the director, will be the envy of every woman – and not a few gay men – who ever wanted to be able to boss a bevy of male beauties around.
The Tony Award winning musical with music and lyrics byStephen Sondheim and a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart has seen many variations over the years. In one bit of Broadway magic, I once caught Whoopi Goldberg in the lead of the play originated by Zero Mostel. It is a popular choice for school and community theatre. But it is doubtful that even the most liberal school board would allow cross dressing men to play Philia, and Domina. Then there’s the scene where Pseudolus convinces Hysterium to help him by dressing in drag.
Today the compete casting for this – their opening show of the 2010 season – was announced by Artistic Director Nicholas Martin and the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) . It will play from June 30 to July 11. In addition to Director Stone, the production team also includes Denis Jones for Choreography and Gary Adler as Music Director.
Foremost among the casting choices is Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald leading the players as Pseudolus, a slave who must win his freedom by playing matchmaker for his master. With a wink and a nod, Berkshire audiences will be having one roaring good time at this toe-tapping, zany romp through ancient Rome. It should please the Gods of Comedy. Here’s a look at the rest of the cast.
The design team for Forum includes scenic design by Alexander Dodge, costume design by Catherine A. Parott, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, and sound design by Drew Levy and Tony Smolenski. The production stage manager is Gregory T. Livoti.
On the Nikos Stage, funny-woman Judy Gold (“Ugly Betty,” “Sex and the City”) will appear in her new one-woman play, It’s Jewdy’s Show: My Life as a Sitcom (June 23 – July 4), directed by Festival Artistic Associate Amanda Charlton (Caroline in Jersey, Dissonance). Following her success of 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, Gold returns to the stage in this hilarious look at her amazing life through the lens of the classic sit-coms of her youth. With multi-media, original music, laughter, and love, Judy shows us how she balances family and ambition in a world in which she sometimes does not fit.
The design team for It’s Jewdy’s Show includes scenic design by Andrew Boyce, lighting design by Marcus Doshi, and sound design by Alex Neumann. The production stage manager is Libby Unsworth.
Tickets for the 2010 Williamstown Theatre Festival season can be purchased online at www.wtfestival.org starting May 29 at Noon and by phone at (413) 597-3400 starting June 1 at 10AM.
The Williamstown Theatre Festival 2010 Season:
ON THE MAIN STAGE
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
Book by Burt Shevelove & Larry Gelbart
Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Jessica Stone
Choreography by Denis Jones
June 30 – July 11, 2010
SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION
By John Guare
July 14 – July 25, 2010
By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Nicholas Martin
Cast includes: Becky Ann Baker, Dylan Baker, Jessica Hecht, John Rubenstein and Campbell Scott
July 28 – August 8, 2010
FIFTH OF JULY
By Lanford Wilson
Directed by Terry Kinney
August 11 – 22, 2010
ON THE NIKOS STAGE
IT’S JEWDY’S SHOW: MY LIFE AS A SITCOM
By Judy Gold and Kate Moira Ryan
Original music by Judy Gold
Lyrics by Kate Moira Ryan and Judy Gold
Additional material Eric Kornfeld and Bob Smith
Directed by Amanda Charlton
June 23 – July 4, 2010
SAMUEL J. AND K.
By Mat Smart
Directed by Justin Waldman
July 7 – July 18, 2010
AFTER THE REVOLUTION
By Amy Herzog
Directed by Carolyn Cantor
July 21 – August 1, 2010
THE LAST GOODBYE
A musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Conceived and adapted by Michael Kimmel
Music and lyrics by Jeff Buckley
Directed by Michael Kimmel
Orchestrations, music direction and arrangements by Kris Kukul
August 5 – 20, 2010