You have probably been wondering where I have been for the past month or so. Aside from being busy (and not keeping up on on blog), I have been working on my next project. Opening in two weeks is St. Croix Festival Theatre's production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (or, for purposes of simplicity, Forum).
I have been honored with the task of bringing to life the role of Pseudolus. For those of you unfamiliar with the history of this musical comedy romp, this role was originated by the incredible Zero Mostel and later revived by my theatrical idol Nathan Lane. Other famous Pseudoli (I guess would be the Latin plural) include Geoffrey Rush, David Alan Grier, and Whoopi Goldberg.
Pseudolus is by far one of my favorite roles to play, as well as an incredibly challenging one. The well crafted text by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart provides an impeccably built comic structure for this slave trying to lie his way to freedom. With music and lyrics by the great Stephen Sondheim, the world of Forum translates seamlessly from page to stage.
The challenge comes from that ease. Since the play basically performs itself, our challenge as actors it to find that additional layer of humanity. Pseudolus has to lie his way through the show and maintain each lie. His confidence is effortless, but where I had been struggling is discovering where Pseudolus wavers in that confidence. With the aid of our director, Mark Baer, I believe we have begun to find those moments where Pseudolus' confidence falters and his humanity shines through. Here's hoping I've got it right.
On an additional note, I saw a recent audition post on Backstage stating that auditions will be held in New York for a new revival of this hilarious production. The post states the production is to be directed by Alex Timbers, co-director of the . Although I would love to attend the audition, alas I will be in rehearsals for my production at the same time...plus there's the whole paying to the flight to NYC thing.
For those of you interested in seeing the incredible cast I have the honor of working with, and my performance as one of my favorite roles in musical theatre, tickets are available now. Visit http://www.festivaltheatre.org/ for tickets and information.
Be on the lookout for more information about this production in my upcoming blogs (that I will actually write...I promise).
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