News Release

Opera/Music Theatre Workshop announces cast for 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum'

Contact: Christina Chapple


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     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop has announced the cast for its production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

     The fast-paced, witty, and irreverent stage classic, which has been called “Broadway’s greatest farce and probably the funniest musical ever written,” will be presented Oct. 10-13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pottle Music Building Auditorium as part of the 22nd season of Fanfare, Southeastern’s October arts festival.

     Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. and general admission tickets -- $14, adults; $10 senior citizens, Southeastern faculty, staff, alumni, and non-Southeastern students -- are available at the Fanfare box office in the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, 220 E. Thomas Street, (985) 543-4371. Southeastern students are admitted free with university I.D. Box office hours are noon-5 p.m., weekdays. Tickets will also be available at the door one hour prior to curtain.

     The winner of eight 1963 Tony awards including best musical, “Forum” was revived on Broadway in 1974 and 1996, has had three successful runs in London’s West End, and is produced around the world by amateur and professional theatrical companies as well as in high schools, colleges and universities.

     “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” Effler said, “takes comedy back to its roots, combining situations from the 2000 year old comedies of Roman playwright Plautus with the infectious energy of classic vaudeville,” said Opera/Music Theatre Director Chuck Effler. “The result is a day in the life of Pseudolus – liar, blackmailer, slave – who struggles to earn his freedom by winning for his master the hand of a beautiful but slow-witted courtesan.

     “Throw in more sexy courtesans, a brow beaten husband and his domineering wife, a fearsome soldier, another loyal (but not too bright) slave, mistaken identities, escape plots, lost children, eunuchs, a fake funeral complete with a live body – and you have a recipe for non-stop, rolling-in-the-aisles laughing,” Effler said.

     Effler’s cast includes a number of Southeastern music majors who are veterans of Opera/Music Theatre Workshop productions, including the recent hits “The Wizard of Oz” and “Too Many Sopranos.”

     Scott McDonough of Slidell has the lead roll of Pseudolus, while Skyler Stoup of Mandeville is his master Hero and Blair Abene of Hammond and Cassie Arnold of Ponchatoula share the role of Hero’s love interest, Philia.

     Cast members also include Brandon Wear of Slidell as the elderly Senex; Jane Rownd of Hammond and Danielle Willie of Ponchatoula as his formidable wife Domina; Brian Martinez of Montz as the slave Hysterium; Colby McCurdy of Slidell as the buyer and seller of courtesans, Marcus Lycus; and Christopher Giffin of Baton Rouge as Miles Gloriosus, the warrior who purchases Philia.

     Dustin Johnson of Covington, Joshua Glober of Baton Rouge and Taylor Marrs of Slidell are “the Proteans,” who play a variety of unnamed parts from soldiers and sailors to citizens and slaves. Cast as courtesans are Bridget Lyons of Hammond (Tintinabula), Tiffane Henry of Jamaica (Panacea), Molly Betsch of Slidell and Margaret Davis of Walker and Laura Freeney of Independence and Elyse German of Pearl River (Geminae Twins), Charlene Robinson of St. Rose and Melissa Simien of Baton Rouge (Vibrata) and Kimberly Hilliard of Covington (Gymnasia).

     For more information on “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” contact Chuck Effler at or (985) 549-2249.

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