A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Laugh out loud at this big, bawdy, boisterous musical comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Featuring music and lyrics from Stephen Sondheim and a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, “Forum” won six Tony Awards after premiering on Broadway in 1962, and enjoyed an impressive 964-performance run. A nonstop laughfest featuring more than a dozen toga-clad actors, the musical tells the story of Pseudolus, a crafty Roman slave who struggles to win the hand of a beautiful but slow-witted courtesan named Philia for his young master, Hero, in exchange for his freedom. The musical includes an avalanche of puns, slamming doors, pratfalls, cases of mistaken identity, satirical comments on social class … and unforgettable music. “Something for everyone, a comedy tonight!”
book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Director – Rosemary Cline

NICHOLAS AULETTI (Prologus/Pseudolus) is an actor, director, and playwright from East Quogue. He graduated with a B.A. in Theatre from Lycoming College. Most recently, he was McDuff in Macbeth (Northeast Stage) and Ernie, Bert, Harry, and Mr. Welsh in It’s a Wonderful Life (Northeast Stage). Previous acting credits include Plodgett in A Chemical Imbalance (boots on the ground theater); Franz Liebkind in The Producers (NFCT); Jedidiah Shultz, Matt Galloway, and Russell Henderson in The Laramie Project (NFCT); Valdez in Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train (Unworldy Ensemble); Miles in She Kills Monsters (Theatre-Off Kilter); and Michael Evans in Dancing at Lughnasa (Lycoming College). His works that have been produced are In the Wee Small Hours (with Theatre-Off Kilter), Pharmacy Jesus (with Unworldly Ensemble), and Over and Under the Wings of Vultures (with Corchaug Repertory Theatre). He is elated to be a part of his second Hampton Theatre Company production. Nick is grateful for the friendly cast and crew for guiding him throughout this process and would also like to thank his friends, family, and Esme for all their support.

JAMIE BAIO (Hero) is so excited to be back at the Hampton Theatre Company! A recipient of the Peter Marbury Scholarship, you may have seen Jamie in HTC’s productions of The Lifespan of a Fact (Jim Fingal), and Lost in Yonkers (Jay Kurnitz). He is a graduate of Wagner College with a B.A. in Theatre Performance. Off-Broadway: The Office! A Musical Parody (Swing). Regional: Into the Woods (Jack), Godspell (Jesus), Mamma Mia! (Sky u/s), The Fields of Ambrosia (Trustee). Additional credits: Urinetown (Bobby Strong), Catch Me If You Can (Frank Abagnale, Jr.), She Loves Me (Georg u/s), This Is Our Youth (Dennis Ziegler). Thank you to the cast, crew, creative team, and to Jamie’s friends and family for their love and support! Enjoy the show! www.jamiebaio.com @jamiebaio

ANDREW BOTSFORD (Lycus/Co-Producer) has appeared in more than 50 Hampton Theatre Company productions since 1985, most recently as Walsh McLaren in Neil Simon’s Rose and Walsh. Also a director, his most recent productions were Admissions by Joshua Harmon in 2020 and Ripcord by David Lindsay-Abaire in 2022. Other regional stage work includes Round Table Theatre Company’s East Hampton production of Shakespeare’s Scottish play and Noël Coward’s Tonight at 8:30 at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater. The host of a summer film commentary program at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, he is also the host of the annual Hamptons Doc Fest (formerly the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival) in December in Sag Harbor. An archive of his now occasional columns on life in Quogue can be found at AtQuaquanantuck.com.

ESMERALDA CABRERA (Tintinabula) is originally from Los Angeles, CA. Since moving to East Quogue, she was last seen in The Portuguese Kid (Hampton Theatre Company) and The Chalk Garden (boots on the ground theater). Recent film credit includes I Appreciate Your Concern by Jim Morrison. This summer she will play Bianca in Northeast Stage’s production of Shakespeare’s Othello in Greenport. She would like to thank Rosemary, Nick and her mom for their unwavering support. IG: @ezmerara

MARY CONLEY (Philia) is very excited to be making her Hampton Theatre Company debut as Philia and Music Captain! Mary holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, where she studied one semester abroad at the Royal College of Music in London. She is a NY based actor and also runs her own private voice studio. In the summer you can find Mary working at Three Village Musical Theatre Company as a voice teacher and choreographer. Some of her favorite previous roles include: The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes, and Laetitia in the opera Old Maid and the Thief. Mary would like to say a huge thank you to the cast and creative team of Forum, as well as to her family and friends for their constant love and support.

Matthew Conlon (Miles Gloriosus) marks forty years this Spring in Actors Equity, the stage actors union. He loves his work and is grateful to HTC for this, his 18th opportunity here. Matthew has played from Bangor, Maine to Newport, California, and many points in between. Love and thanks to Julie, who makes it all possible.

TOM CIORCIARI (Hysterium) is a NY-based actor and musician. He is thrilled to be making his HTC debut in this rollicking piece. He has performed extensively in regional theater, including King Lear, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Tartuffe, The Shadow Box, Orphans, Much Ado About Nothing, God of Carnage, The Laramie Project, Anna in the Tropics (also dir.), Richard III, As You Like It, The Guys (also dir.), Indecent, Doubt and God of Vengeance.

Alissa Dabrowski (Vibrata/Movement Assistant) is grateful to be making her Hampton Theatre Company debut. Her recent credits include The Addams Family (Wednesday), The Sound of Music (Postulant), and Miracle on 34th Street (Susan). She also was recently in a short film for the NYC 48 Hour Film Project. Alissa would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her through all her endeavors.

Matt Fama (Protean) is beyond thrilled to be making his debut here at HTC with this fantastic production and such a welcoming and talented group of artists! Favorite credits over the years include Elf (Buddy), As You Like It (Silvius), Titanic (Murdoch/Charles), Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 (Eddie McCuen), Moon Over Buffalo (Howard), Curtains (Bobby Pepper), Twelfth Night (Sir Andrew), The Drowsy Chaperone (The Gangsters), and The SpongeBob Musical (Old Man Jenkins). In addition to acting, he is also a playwright, an amateur theatre critic on social media, and an avid lover of all things Marvel, True Crime, SpongeBob, and, above all, Tim Burton! He gives many thanks to Rosemary for taking a chance on him and presenting him with such a rewarding and enriching experience. He also would like to thank Dee, Andrew, Nora, and everyone involved in this production for their tireless effort and dedication to making this show possible, his cast for making every moment throughout this process an absolute joy, his teachers over the years who have built him up into the performer and person he’s become today, his friends for their constant support, and most importantly, his family for loving and being there for him every step of the way! Open up the curtain, and enjoy the comedy tonight!

Livvie Hirshfield (Gymnasia/Dance Captain) is a proud graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Some of her recent credits include Jersey Boys at Mason Street Warehouse, Mamma Mia! at the Argyle Theatre, and The Prom (Kaylee) at the Media Theatre. She is super excited to be a part of such a wonderful cast, and would like to thank her family and friends for their constant support! Instagram: @LivvieHirshfield

Jessica Howard (Domina) is thrilled to be back onstage at Hampton Theatre Company! Previous productions at HTC: Man of La Mancha (Innkeeper’s Wife/Housekeeper), The Boys Next Door (Sheila), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Nurse Flinn), Picnic (Christine), The Odd Couple (Female Version) (Vera), The Oldest Living Graduate (Martha Ann), Steel Magnolias (Annelle), Ah, Wilderness! (Muriel), The Crucible (Susannah). Other productions: Playcafters – Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Helen), Steel Magnolias (Annelle), Once in a Lifetime (Susan); Gateway Playhouse – Evita (Mistress), Phantom (Ensemble). She can also be heard singing in the East End Women’s Choir under the direction of Kamilla Oman. Love to all her nearest and dearest. You know who you are.

Bob Kaplan (Senex) has been acting and directing at various theater companies around Long Island for the last 45 years. He has enjoyed acting in Peter and the Starcatcher, The Price, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Laughter on the 23rd Floor and The Night of the Iguana. He directed the NY-area premiere of Becky’s New Car, as well as directed Sylvia, Sunshine Boys, Glengarry Glen Ross, Mauritius, Young Frankenstein – The Musical, Wait Until Dark, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Born Yesterday, and The Portuguese Kid. He is encouraged and inspired by his producer Betsy, who supports his passion for being involved in live theater.

Dara Lifschutz (Panacea) is excited to join the Hampton Theatre Company with one of her favorite musicals. Previous productions include The Sound of Music (Sister Margaretta), The Diary of Anne Frank (Miep), Man of La Mancha (Housekeeper, Aldonza), Twelve Incompetent Jurors (Guard), Twelve Angry Women (Juror #12), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Domina), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Rona), and Fiddler on the Roof (Golde, Tzeitel). Many thanks to the cast, production team and crew.

George A. Loizides (Erronius/Protean/Rehearsal Stage Manager/Prop Master) is a veteran of HTC. His most recent acting credit for HTC was as Nunzio in Over the River and Through the Woods, which he also co-directed. Other acting credits for HTC include Sylvia (playing three different parts), Norman in On Golden Pond, Alarms and Excursions, Heroes, Bedroom Farce, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Glenngarry Glen Ross. His directing credits for HTC include this past fall’s Rose and Walsh, The Lifespan of a Fact, A Doll’s House Part 2, Native Gardens, Private Lives, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Lost in Yonkers, Picnic, The Odd Couple (Female Version) and Bus Stop. As an actor/director for more than 55 years, he has also worked with Playcrafters Theater Company in Bellport. For 27 years he was Director of Theatre Arts for Ward Melville High School, where he taught acting and directing and directed 81 productions. He is on the HTC Board of Directors and the Artistic Committee, and is Administrator of the Diana and Peter Marbury Scholarship. “Thanks, thanks and many thanks” to Rosemary for the opportunity to have fun in one his favorite musicals. Thank you to the multi-talented cast for the honor of sharing the stage with them. Thanks to Dee, Teresa, Sebastian, and the rest of the Forum crew, artists all. Thanks to Terry B. and the HTC family for making things happen. Love to Kathy.

THOMAS MILTON is excited to be joining his first production with HTC in the role of one of the shape-shifting Proteans. He has had extensive experience singing with various groups including the Choral Society of the Hamptons, the Peconic Bay Masterworks Choir and the Shelter Island Community Chorus. His previous acting experience includes performances in Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding in New York City and Philadelphia. He is extremely grateful for the opportunity to make his debut with HTC and wishes to thank the director, producers, fellow cast members and crew for their warm welcome and enthusiastic support.

ROSEMARY CLINE (Director/Co-Producer) last appeared at the HTC in October 2023 as Rose Steiner in Neil Simon’s Rose and Walsh. A founding member of the company and current HTC board member, she has had principal roles in over 40 productions. She spent 15 years in NYC performing in theater, film and TV, as well as seven years in summer stock in the tri-state area. More recently she studied directing and acting at Stony Brook Southampton with playwright Lucas Hnath, Mercedes Ruehl, Joanna Merlin, Tony Walton and Rinde Eckert, among others, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the Southampton campus. Fresh off of 14 years as the theatre director at Westhampton Beach High School, she’s excited to share her newest career as an audiobook narrator, Rosemaryclinenarrator.com. Huge hugs and many kisses to this carefully chosen gem of a cast and crew. Dee Laveglia is a treasure to work with and Nora Moutrane is awesome! It is an absolute joy to work with this team in her directorial debut with the HTC. All love to Christopher, Cashew, Carter, her mother and father, with a wink to Poonie and Jane.

BURT SHEVELOVE (Book) began his Broadway career in 1948, when he co-produced, directed and wrote material for the review Small Wonder. Five years after directing a 1956 revival of Kiss Me Kate, he collaborated with Larry Gelbart on the book for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the origins of which date back to Shevelove’s years as a Yale graduate student, when he staged a musical titled When in Rome for the Yale Dramatic Association. In 1974 he and Stephen Sondheim created an adaptation of Aristophanes’s The Frog that was performed in the Yale swimming pool (Meryl Streep and Sigourney Weaver were among the students who participated); the show was produced on Broadway 30 years later with updates from Sondheim and Nathan Lane. Other Shevelove credits include the 1967 Tony-winning Best Musical Hallelujah, Baby, and a popular 1971 Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate. Shevelove (1915-1982) also enjoyed a successful career in television and film, reuniting with Gelbart to write the screenplay for the 1966 hit British comedy The Wrong Box.

LARRY GELBART (Book) was one of America’s most revered comedy writers, well-known for his work in television, film and Broadway. A native of Chicago (born 1928) whose family relocated to LA, Gelbart was just 16 when he started writing for Danny Thomas’s radio show (Gelbart’s father, Thomas’s barber, had showed the comedian some of his son’s jokes). He spent much of the 1940s and 1950s writing for the likes of Jack Paar, Bob Hope and Red Skelton, often collaborating with other ascending talents like Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen. In 1972 Gelbart developed the iconic 1970s series M*A*S*H (based on the movie), which earned him both Peabody and Emmy Awards. Gelbart was Oscar-nominated as co-writer of the smash-hit 1982 movie Tootsie; he was also nominated for his adapted screenplay of 1977’s Oh, God!. On Broadway, in addition to co-writing A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Gelbart wrote the book for City of Angels, which won him a 1990 Tony Award; the show also won five other Tonys, including Best Musical. He died in 2009.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM (Music and Lyrics) is widely considered one of the most important composers and lyricists in American history, often credited with reinventing the Broadway musical. Born in NYC in 1930, he was mentored as a youth by Oscar Hammerstein II, the famous lyricist whose son was a childhood friend. Sondheim’s career began auspiciously in the late 1950s, when he wrote the lyrics to both West Side Story and Gypsy on Broadway (both musicals were later made into successful films). Transitioning to writing both music and lyrics, Sondheim enjoyed an unprecedented run of success on Broadway, working frequently with the likes of Harold Prince and James Lapine while tackling unorthodox subjects that often dealt with darker elements of the human experience. In addition to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sondheim put his indelible stamp on 1970’s Company, 1971’s Follies, 1973’s A Little Night Music, 1979’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 1981’s Merrily We Roll Along, 1984’s Sunday in the Park with George, 1987’s Into the Woods and 1994’s Passion. Among his many awards: eight Tonys, one Oscar, eight Grammys, an Olivier Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. The subject of numerous retrospectives, books and documentaries, Sondheim, who died in 2021, was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor in 1993 and a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

DEE LAVEGLIA (Music Director, Accompanist) is a retired teacher who attended Juilliard and has a Master’s Degree in Music Education. He was the music director and a performer for: Bottoms Up and Much Ado about Nothing for Northeast Stage; Oliver, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Seussical and Annie for Spotlight Theatre; How to Eat Like a Child, The Holiday Show, and Vampires Suck at the Vail Leavitt Music Hall; Cry Baby, A Christmas Carol (Live Radio Play), Little Shop of Horrors, The Sound of Music, Nunsense, Godspell, and Cinderella at North Fork Community Theatre; Blood Brothers, Little Shop of Horrors, Nunsense, and The World Goes Round for Backstage Theatre Company; Company and Merrily We Roll Along at the Southampton Cultural Center; Damn Yankees for Playcrafters; Fame, the Musical at the Airport Playhouse; the Theatre Ensemble production of Berlin; Second Chance and Nunsense at Theatre at the Glen; cabaret shows at Bay Street Theater and the Triad; and Mood Indigo, Celebrating Shakespeare, The Making of Moby Dick, The Making of Molly Bloom, Walt Whitman: Songs of the People, Letters to the World, Yeats in Love, and Rilke on Rilke at various libraries on the East End. He has also performed at churches, wineries, weddings, private parties, restaurants, for recordings and as accompanist for Alec Baldwin’s acting class at Ross School. He is currently working on several projects in his recording studio in Mattituck. Dee would like to thank his wife, Madeline.

Nora Moutrane (Choreographer) As a self-professed silly girl, Nora is thrilled to be choreographing Forum! Last seen playing Antonia in Man of La Mancha at HTC, and also at the Engeman Theatre in Northport. Most recent choreography: The Whole Megillah, A New Purim Musical, off-Broadway. Performing credits include national tours, many regional theaters, and dancing for major pop groups and stage shows. She also teaches yoga and strength training at Crunch Fitness all over NYC. Follow her on Instagram @noramoutrane for updates & shenanigans. www.noramoutrane.com She’d like to dedicate the rest of her bio to those suffering from chronic Lyme disease and other invisible illnesses – please consider donating to ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society to fund research for prevention and treatment.

Jonathan Presto (Sound Design/Tech) is a multi-disciplined individual, working consistently as both a Live Sound Engineer and a Photographer for as long as he can remember. From early in his career in the music industry, Jon began mixing front of house for a variety of events, ranging from private acoustic shows with top 10 artists, to full blown festivals. Doubling as a self-taught photographer, he has always had his eye on discovering new places and connecting with new people. The days he enjoys most are those that he is on the road with his dog, Kaya, seeking dark skies to capture the Milky Way galaxy on both digital and film cameras, or those he spends tuning a room with his friends for one of his favorite bands to work with. With that in mind, Jon can usually be found mixing tour dates with one of his bands, handling delicate corporate events in Manhattan, running front of house or monitors at The Suffolk, working sound on one of the many local music festivals, or travelling to remote places with his cameras. This season he looks forward to being a part of Guild Hall in East Hampton and mixing Main Stage at the ongoing Center Moriches festival, Bradstock, before flying off to Iceland for a month to chase new photographic opportunities. With years of hands-on experience and the enhanced life experience taken from his travels, Jon both loves what he does and strives to excel at it to the best of his abilities.

GRACE HYGOM (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be stage managing Hampton Theatre Company’s A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum. Previously, Grace has done tech for three shows and been the stage manager for two shows at Mattituck High school. Here at the Hampton Theatre Company she has worked on lighting for Native Gardens (2021) and Ripcord (2021), as well as stage managing Over the River and Through the Woods (2022), It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (2022), and The Lifespan of a Fact (2023).

Alex Sguazzin (Assistant Production Stage Manager) This is Alex Sguazzin’s first time working on a show at the HTC and he is very excited to help out! Alex loves all the theater whether it be on stage or backstage! Alex would like to thank all of his family and friends who support him on this crazy career path in entertainment and show business.

Catherine Maloney (Rehearsal Stage Manager) is now a proud member of The Hampton Theatre Company’s Board of Directors. She was happy to pitch in during the rehearsal process of this musical comedy and work with such a talented cast and crew. While she wears many hats, her true passion is performing. Most recently she was seen on HTC’s stage as Miriam in Strictly Murder, performed several personalities in A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play, and portrayed the role of Emma in Over the River and Through the Woods. She would like to congratulate Director Rosemary Cline, and wishes this gifted group of actors a fun-filled romp!

CLARE MAKER (Rehearsal Stage Manager) was thrilled to join the Hampton Theater Company in 2024 as Co-Rehearsal Stage Manager for this production. She has a background in amateur musical theater and loves to sing. She holds a degree in fine arts and sculpture but currently works in digital design and technology. In her free time, she enjoys being away from the computer by participating in the arts, painting and being outdoors.

MEG SEXTON (Set Construction) is thrilled to be working on her ninth production with Hampton Theatre Company. Other productions with this company include Native Gardens, Ripcord, A Doll’s House Part 2, Over the River and Through the Woods, The Lifespan of a Fact, The Portuguese Kid, Rose and Walsh, and Strictly Murder. Meg has previously worked as the Education Manager at Bay Street Theater as well as the Grants Manager & Marketing Coordinator at Patchogue Theatre. Currently, she is the Director of Marketing at The Suffolk and Development Assistant for Patchogue Arts Council.

RON BECKER (Scenic Painter) Ron is a professional artist who has exhibited in many Long Island galleries, winning awards for his oil and acrylic landscapes and nature paintings. He is on the Suffolk County Advisory Board for the Arts and the Advisory Board for BACCA (Babylon Citizens Council for the Arts). He also paints murals in schools, hospitals and public settings. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is his first endeavor at painting stage sets. Ron gives special thanks to the set crew and production team and wishes everyone a great show. A special thank you to Rosemary, for the opportunity to work on this wonderful production. rbeckerart.com. Thanks very much!

KELLY WERESNICK (Lighting Board Operator) has worked with HTC on two previous shows: last season’s The Portuguese Kid and A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play in December. She studied technical theater with a concentration in theater lighting at Suffolk County Community College. She was the lighting designer and board operator for Cry Baby and A Catered Affair at North Fork Community Theater in Mattituck; set designer/builder, lighting designer and stage manager for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and set designer, lighting designer, stage manager, and co-director for The Wizard of Oz for East End Disability Associates (EEDA). Kelly has designed and started a program of technical theater and set design and building classes for the people supported by EEDA. Thanks to her parents and sister Colleen for support; her mom and Uncle Billy for the drive and inspiration to pursue technical theater; and all the people receiving services at EEDA, who taught her that theater can be performed and enjoyed by all.

TERESA LEBRUN (Costume Designer) is the resident costumer for HTC. She began helping with costumes in 1986 and has designed the costumes for the company’s productions since 2005. Teresa has also costumed for Westhampton Beach High School. Much love to her sons, Josh and Noah, family and great friends. This one’s for you, Seamus: I miss your smiling face looking down at me from the booth. I miss your great big hugs and all the laughs we had ;). It’s always going to feel a little different around here now that you’re gone, but as they say, the show must go on. So long, my friend. <3

JULIA MORGAN ABRAMS (House Manager). After retiring from the legal department of Bristol Myers Squibb, Julia began a second career as a volunteer, initially for Literacy Suffolk, HTC, the Southampton Animal Shelter and Early Girl Farm, where she wrote grants and worked in fundraising. She continues to write grants and help with marketing for several local nonprofits. Julia would like to thank all of her dedicated House Assistants for their continued support.
Music Director/Accompanist – DEE LAVEGLIA
Choreographer – NORA MOUTRANE
Sound Design/Sound Tech – JONATHAN PRESTO
Costume Design – TERESA LEBRUN
Scenic Painter – RON BECKER
Production Stage Manager – GRACE HYGOM
Asst. Production Stage Manager – ALEX SGUAZZIN
Movement Assistant – ALISSSA DABROWSKI
Production Graphics – JOE PALLISTER DESIGNINGJOE.com

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” a Rousing Success

By T.J. Clemente hamptons.com

The opening night production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” with Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim was a rousing success. The book is by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. The show is Directed by Rosemary Cline. The co-producers are Rosemary Cline and Andrew Botsford. This show often called, “One of American theatre’s most raucous and irresistible musicals,” is the final production of the Hampton Theatre Company’s 2023-2024 season. The show is running through June 9 at the Quogue Community Hall. The company’s 39th season is dedicated to Don and Judy Gruhn, Quogue residents and longtime friends and supporters of the HTC.

Make no mistake about the ability of Nicholas Auletti (as Prologus/Pseudolus) to not only carry a show but bring an audience to their feet. Leading the cast through the famed number, “Comedy Tonight,” is what live theater is all about. Then there was Jamie Baio (Hero), who charmed and with his enthusiasm brought a youthful energy and talent to the production. He also is a past Peter Marbury Scholarship recipient.

Hampton Theatre Company icon Andrew Botsford (Lycus) is excellent especially when he delivered the song, “The House of Lycus.” Matthew Conlon (Gloriosus) brings his usual outstanding stage presence, experience and gravitas that has made him so well respected and revered. He totally commands the song, “ Bring Me A Bride.” Conlon is the king of dramatic entrances. Mary Conley (Philia) talents enchant on so many levels. Her beautiful singing voice enchants and delivers. Her movements perfect. She is a talent.

Tom Ciorciari (Hysterium) is also excellent especially when he captivated the audience with his singing solo, “I’m Calm.”

The audience identified with Bob Kaplan (Senex), especially when he sang, “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid,” with Jessica Howard (Domina), who delightfully was entertaining as his wife, the applause for their effort was thunderous. Kudos and accolades to George A. Loizides (Erronius/3rd Warrior) and Thomas Milton (Protean) for their performance along with Matt Fama (Protean).

Throughout the production Esmeralda Cabrera (Tintinabula), Alissa Dabrowski (Vibratta), Livvie Hirshfield (Gymnasia), Dara Lifschutz (Panacea), brought a beautiful energy to their roles.

The show demonstrates another layer of the vison and talent of Director Rosemary Cline. She smartly moves her actors around the stage and presents this musical in totally high feather.

Music Director Dee Laveglia on the keyboard accompanist was flawless. The choreography by Nora Moutrane dazzled. Excellent Set design by Ricky Bottenus as was the scenic painting by Ron Becker. The lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski was perfect as was the sound design by Jonathan Presto. Great job, Teresa Lebrun with the costumes.

Performances of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” will run from May 23 through June 9 on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8, and Sundays at 2:30. An additional matinee performance will be offered on Saturday, June 8, at 2:30, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening. Two talkbacks with the cast will be offered to ticketholders immediately following the May 31 and June 7 Friday evening performances.



Melissa Giordano, Broadwayworld.com 6.01.2024

I’ll start out by stating how much I adore the Hampton Theatre Company (HTC) and their choices for their productions each season. You never know what they’re going to choose, and the loyal audiences love the guessing game. Indeed, you will be happily surprised each season.

Their current offering, iconic Tony winner A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, marks the end of HTC’s fantastic thirty ninth season. Additionally, this is only the second time the East End venue has done a Musical. They are an intimate theatre, so we’re treated to mostly Plays from the brilliant Quogue, Long Island, company.

The entertaining production, wonderfully directed by Rosemary Cline, runs through June 9th at the adorable Quogue Community Hall and boasts an extraordinary cast.

Set in ancient Roman times, there are several storylines in this tale created by Steven Sondheim (Music and Lyrics), Burt Shevelove (Book), and Larry Gelbart (Book). Primarily, we follow Pseudolus, a slave hilariously portrayed by Nicholas Auletti, who frantically helps his young master, Hero charmingly portrayed by Jamie Baio, get together with Philia a courtesan superbly portrayed by Mary Conley, to finally obtain his long-desired freedom. The zany happenings will leave you in absolute stitches for the entire two act production. Everyone in this beautiful cast delivers their performances spectacularly. Comedic timing and precision are essential for this show and this top-notch cast does not disappoint.

On the clever creative team, Ms. Cline designs the busy set with Ricky Bottenus. The story is set in front of three houses, which impressively take up the entire stage. Rolling pieces are also used which makes for seamless scene changes. This is heightened by Sebastian Paczynski’s excellent lighting and Teresa Lebrun’s stunning costumes. Some of the costumes don’t seem in the Roman style, but I digress because this is visually stunning production. And special kudos to Dee Laveglia as the fantastic Music Director and Accompanist.

And so, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum is a spectacular way for the Hampton Theatre Company to end their season. This is a classic Sondheim piece and if the exciting opening weekend was any indication, you will want to get your tickets as quickly as possible. A hilarious tale and amazing cast make for a fun night on Long Island’s East End.
Sunrise Highway (Route 27) to exit 64S (Rte. 104 to Quogue). Rte. 104 South (approx. 3 miles) to Montauk Highway (Rte. 80). Right onto Montauk Highway to light at Otis Ford (1 mile). Left onto Jessup Avenue. 1/2 mile to theater (on right). FROM MONTAUK HIGHWAY (ROUTE-80):
Montauk Highway to light at Otis Ford in Quogue. South onto Jessup Avenue. 1/2 mile to theater (on right).
PARKING: There is limited street parking around the theater as well as a parking lot that can be entered just north of the Quogue Community Hall. WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: A handicapped accessible entrance is located on the right (north) side of the building. Please use the driveway on the north side of the theater and ring the bell marked HTC Handicapped at the ramp entrance to the building and a volunteer will assist you; or have a member of your party notify us on arrival at the box office if you’d like to use this entrance. If a member of your party requires a wheelchair in the theater, please reserve one seat at the end of a row. ASSISTED LISTENING DEVICES: The theater does not have assisted listening devices at this time.