The 50th Anniversary Of Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum Brings Laughter To Bay Street Theatre Beginning August 6th

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Bay Street Theatre presents the final production of the 2013 Mainstage Season with A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, beginning August ...

Sag Harbor, NY – July 5th, 2013 – Bay Street Theatre presents the final production of the 2013 Mainstage Season with A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, beginning August 6 and running through September 1. The show stars Peter Scolari with Conrad John Schuck and Jackie Hoffman. The book is by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart with lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim; music direction by Ethyl Will; and directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge. Tickets are $67.50, $77.50 and $79.50. For more information call the Box Office at 631-725-9500 or buy online at www.baystreet.org. August 6 will be a “Pay What You Can” performance with a limited number of tickets available on that date after 2 pm at the Bay Street Theatre Box Office.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a musical inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus (251–183 BC), specifically Pseudolus, Miles Gloriosus and Mostellaria. The musical tells the bawdy story of a slave named Pseudolus and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door.

The musical's original 1962 Broadway run won several Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book. FORUM has enjoyed several Broadway and West End revivals and was made into a successful film starring the original lead of the musical, Zero Mostel.

“Forum is going to be a fantastic show,” says Gary Hygom, Producer for Bay Street Theatre. “We are very happy to welcome Marcia Milgrom Dodge back to Bay Street and are thrilled that Peter Scolari will be joining the cast. This is going to be a grand finale to such a wonderful season!”

Peter Scolari has Broadway credits with roles in shows like Hairspray, Sly Fox and Lucky Guy with Tom Hanks. Scolari is now cast on the hit cable sitcom "Girls" (HBO, 2012- ), created by young comic star Lena Dunham. Scolari performed voiceover work as a lonely boy riding "The Polar Express" (2004) alongside friend Tom Hanks in the animated holiday movie, a game show host version of himself in an episode of "American Dad!" (Fox, 2005- ) and Ray Palmer/Atom on "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" (Cartoon Network, 2008-2011). Scolari began his career on the New York stage, which led to several television appearances. His work on the World War II-set "Goodtime Girls" (ABC, 1980) alongside Annie Potts helped bring him to the attention of network executives, who subsequently cast him as one of the two stars, the other a young Tom Hanks, in "Bosom Buddies" (ABC, 1980-82), a small screen homage to the classic cross-dressing comedy, "Some Like it Hot" (1959). He quickly moved on to his longest lasting and best-received role when he joined the cast of "Newhart" (CBS, 1982-1990) as the uptight Michael Harris, a local TV producer and the quintessential neurotic yuppie. Scolari won over critics and audiences alike with his hilarious hyperkinetic character, earning a Viewers for Quality Television Award and three Emmy nominations for his role.

In 50 years as an actor, Conrad John Schuck has appeared on Broadway in Annie with Sarah Jessica Parker, Annie Get Your Gun with Reba, Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick, and Juno at Encores. London saw him in The Caine Mutiny with Charlton Heston and he has performed in regional theatres from San Francisco to Baltimore. Moviegoers will remember him as Painless in “M*A*S*H” and in Star Trek 4 & 6. His first screen kiss was with Elizabeth Taylor. On television he is remembered for Sgt. Enright in “Macmillian & Wife” with Rock Hudson and numerous guest appearances.

Jackie Hoffman was last seen in the recurring role of David's mother on NBC's “The New Normal.” She was in the original Broadway casts of The Addams Family, Xanadu, and Hairspray, for which she won the Theatre World Award for most outstanding Broadway debut.   Off-Broadway plays include A Chanukah Charol, The Tribeca Theatre Festival, The Gingerbread House, The Book of Liz, for which Jackie won the Obie award for best actress, Straightjacket, Incident at Cobbler’s Knob (Lincoln Center Theatre Festival) and One Woman Shoe.  Regional Theatre includes Chicago at the MUNY and The Sisters Rosensweig at the Globe Theatre.  Jackie starred in six revues at The Second City theatre in Chicago, where she won the Jeff Award for Best Actress.  Jackie’s solo shows at Joe’s Pub, all directed by Michael Schiralli, have all received tremendous critical acclaim.  Her show “The Kvetching Continues” won Time Out New York’s outstanding achievement award and was the longest running show in Joe’s Pub’s history.

Burt Shevelove (Book Co-Author) (1915-1982) first brought comedy to Broadway in 1948 when he directed and wrote material for the successful revue Small Wonder. After winning a Tony with Larry Gelbart for Forum, he directed the award-winning productions of Hallelujah Baby!, No, No, Nanette  and an earlier revival of Forum with Phil Silvers. He contributed prodigiously to television; producing, directing and writing hundreds of shows starring, among others, Jack Benny, Art Carney, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand and winning for them many awards, including an Emmy and a Peabody.

Larry Gelbart (Book Co-Author) (1944-2009) wrote the book for City of Angels and The Conquering Hero. His other stage credits include Sly Fox, Mastergate, Jump and Power Failure. Among his other credits are “Caesar’s Hour,” “M*A*S*H,” “United States” and “Barbarians at the Gate” for television; in feature films, the screenplays for The Wrong Box; Movie, Movie; Oh, God! and Tootsie.

Stephen Sondheim (Music and Lyrics) wrote the scores for Passion, Assassins, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, The Frogs, A Little Night Music, Follies, Company, Anyone Can Whistle, as well as the lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear A Waltz? and Candide (additional lyrics). Side by Side Sondheim, Marry Me a Little, You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow and Putting It Together are the anthologies of his work as a composer and lyricist. His film scores include Stavisky, Reds, songs for Dick Tracy (Academy Award); and for TV, “Evening Primrose.” He co-authored the film The Last of Sheila with Anthony Perkins. He is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild (President from 1973-1981). 

Musical Director Ethyl Will has conducted eleven Broadway productions including Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews, Gypsy with Bernadette Peters and The Nance with Nathan Lane. Ethyl was the first woman ever to conduct at Radio City Music Hall and has conducted the Christmas Spectacular for the past three years. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Cornell University.

Marcia Milgrom Dodge returns as Director of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum to Bay Street Theatre since her work with Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Who’s Tommy, Once on this Island, Fit to Print and many others. Dodge has directed the Broadway production of Ragtime which she received a Tony, Drama Desk & Astaire Award Nominations & Helen Hayes Award. Dodge’s  Off Broadway direction includes Venus FlytrapSeussical The Musical (Theatreworks USA/Lortel Award nomination); Cookin’Radio GalsCloser Than Ever (choreographed original production), William Finn's Romance In Hard Times (The Public Theatre.) Her Regional works include: My Fair Lady in Concert starring Jonathan Pryce & Laura Michelle Kelly (Kennedy Center); Sense & Sensibility The Musical (Denver Center); The Music Man (Glimmerglass Festival); many shows at Reprise Theatre Company, Maltz Jupiter, Arena Stage, Music Circus, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Goodman Theatre and Goodspeed. Dodge is a proud executive board member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.  

The remaining cast for FORUM will also include: Jen Bechter (Elf the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella) , Halley Cianfarini (Angelina Ballerina: The Musical, Show Me Real - Regional credits include: Trojan Women), Jessica Crouch (Legally Blonde, We Will Rock You, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Tom Deckman (Spamalot, Good Vibrations, South Pacific), Lora Lee Gayer (Follies, Pipe Dream, These Seven Sicknesses), Glenn Giron (Spamalot, CATS, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers), Laurent Giroux (Pippin, Chicago, Dancin’), Shiloh Goodin (The Drowsy Chaperone, Mendacity, 50 Shades of F***ed Up), Nathaniel Hackmann (Les Miserables, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Barbiere di Siviglia), Stewart Lane (As Producer - War Horse, Jay Johnson: The Two and Only, The Will Rodgers Follies), Terry Lavell (Hairspray, Smokey Joe’s Café), Phoebe Pearl (Radio City Music Hall, Thoroughly Modern Millie, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Nick Verina (Follies, Grease, Sense and Sensibility) and  J. Morgan White (Cats, Guys and Dolls, A Christmas Carol).

Production staff includes: Shiloh Goodin (Associate Choreographer), Chris Clark (Production Stage Manager), Elizabeth Schiavo (Assistant Stage Manager), Michael Schweikardt (Set Designer) Mike Billings (Lighting Designer), Greg Wilson (Costume Designer), Tony Melfa (Sound Designer), Kathy Fabian (Prop Designer) and Jay Binder (Casting Director).

A Funny Thing on the Way to the Forum runs August 6 through September 1st. Tickets are priced from $67.50 and up. The Box Office is open daily, 11 am till show time. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit baystreet.org or call 631-725-9500.

Bay Street Theatre is a not-for-profit institution presenting new, classic and contemporary works with a commitment to challenging and entertaining our diverse community. This commitment extends to educational programs for all ages to foster the continued value of theatre as a vital art form for future generations.

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