REVIEW: “A Funny Thing Happened…” at Reno Little Theater

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Reno Little Theater’s latest production, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” is incredibly funny.

A musical, the production boasts an impressively large cast, especially for the RLT, complete with a music director – longtime Reno performer and vocal extraordinaire, Cami Thompson. About 20 actors flounce on and off RLT’s intimate stage at regular intervals. It’s the largest cast to appear in RLT’s new location.

A Funny Thing... at Reno Little Theater
Image: Bob Conrad

“A Funny Thing’s” plot is set in an ancient Rome-like setting in front of three adjacent towering residences. (The beautifully designed set is constructed primarily of cardboard.) A slave named Pseudolus (the characters’ names each hint as to the character’s character, such as “Hero,” “Erronius,” and, my favorite, “Hysterium”) is seeking freedom, but his path to becoming a free citizen is marked with duplicitous hi-jinks.

Director Melissa Taylor had this to say: “The (very politically incorrect) script is based on the characters and works of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus so, right or wrong, these are things that people have been laughing at for thousands of years. And if you delve into it deep enough you find commentary on how absurdly (and often horribly) we treat each other because of a pretty messed up social hierarchy. We’re not going to beat you over the head with it but the opportunity for deeper conversation is there.”

“A Funny Thing” is whimsical, gay, and a laugh riot. The plot twists, turns, and backpedals for us slow-minded viewers to be reminded of what happened 10 minutes prior. Characters emerge and re-emerge with never-ending comedic effect.

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With a nice dose of adult humor – some S&M-style flogging appears, in particular – “A Funny Thing” may not be for everyone, but once you’re hooked into the plot, it’s a fun ride. The two-and-half-hour production moves quickly, is full of energy, and draws lots of laughs. There are two free showings in July. The schedule is below.

The Details

Web: http://renolittletheater.org/

Music & Lyircs By: Stephen Sondheim
Book By: Burt Shevelove & Larry Geibart
Directed by: Melissa Taylor
Vocal Director: Cami Thompson

Dates:

  • Evening Showdates: 7/6, 7/7, 7/12 (tt), 7/13, 7/14, 7/19 (tt), 7/20, 7/21, 7/26 (tt), 7/27, 7/28 @ 7:30 pm
  • Matinee Showdates: 7/7 (FREE), 7/8, 7/14 (FREE), 7/15*, 7/22, 7/29 @ 2:00 pm
    (tt) = Thirsty Thursday- FREE drink with ticket purchase, * denotes post-show talk-back.

Tickets:

  • Regular: $25
  • Senior/Military: $20
  • Student: $15
  • Children 12 & Under: $12

Cast:

  • Ian Sorensen as Pseudolus
  • Jared Lively as Hero
  • Elise van Dyne as Philia
  • Kirk Gardner as Senex
  • Amy Gianos as Domina
  • Erich Goldstein as Hysterium
  • Jeff Chamberlin as Miles Gloriosus
  • Scott House as Marcus Lycus
  • Bob Ives as Erronius

Proteans:

  • Aiden Billharz
  • Chad William Michael
  • Ryan Costello
  • Noel Tsuchiya

Courtesans:

  • Brittany Carpenter as Tintinabula
  • Jennifer Flynn as Panacea
  • Lynn Carasali & Cathy Gabrielli as The Geminae
  • Michaela Radecki as Vibrata
  • Molly Stewart as Gymnasia
About Bob Conrad 938 Articles
Bob Conrad is co-founder of ThisisReno. He manages ThisisReno and Conrad Communications, LLC, his marketing communications consulting company. He also works part time for the University of Nevada, Reno.

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