From the opening welcome by director, Ms. Hoppe, to the resounding final number, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was magnificent. Performed by the Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper-Schoolers, Forum was fantastic. The energetic opening number, performed by Rob G., promised “tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight,” and a show filled with talented actors. The performance was perfectly accompanied by a fantastic pit band.
The actors of Forum delivered a musical that had the audience laughing from beginning to end. The opening scene showed an over-controlling, over-protective wife and mother, played by Julie L., preparing for a journey to her mother’s home. Julie, a strong soprano, played the part with gusto. She orders her head slave, Hysterium, to keep her son, Hero, away from the House of Marcus Lycus. The house of Marcus Lycus is an establishment known for the many pretty women that reside there. Hero, however has spotted a beautiful maid in the window and promises freedom to his personal slave, Pseudolus (Rob G.), in exchange for her. Pseudolus, infatuated with the idea of freedom goes to unbelievable lengths to procure the beautiful lady. Unfortunately she has already been sold. From that point forward the story of Forum is a series of unfortunate, yet humorous events. Hysterium, the reliable and responsible slave gets dragged into all of Pseudolus’s crazy endeavors.
The show was phenomenal. Perfectly paced comedy and unreserved actors made the musical one of the funniest I have ever seen. Ed R.’s portrayal of Hysterium was amazing. The character, already funny, was enhanced by his constantly exaggerated movements and facial expressions. Rob G. played Pseudolus flawlessly as well. All of the actors’ reactions to what was happening on stage made the show. I would also like to commend Jordan E.’s make-up artists on their sensational work. The make-up, coupled with Jordan’s physical and verbal acting made him the most convincing ancient man I have ever seen.