Theatre Wesleyan hosts 67th Spring Musical

The cast of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. (Clayton Dean Phillips)


Theatre Wesleyan’s 67th spring musical will take place from April 21 to 24. This rendition of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is directed by Jeanne Everton with musical direction by Michael Plantz.

The show will be held at the Thad Smotherman Theatre/Law Sone Fine Arts Center, 1201 Wesleyan Street, 76105. The performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on April 21, 22 and 23 and at 2:00 p.m. on April 24.

The story originally produced on Broadway by Harold S. Prince is a tale of a guileful slave who promises his master a romance with a courtesan in exchange for his freedom. It takes place on a street in Ancient Rome and focuses on the interactions between three households, the houses of Lycus, Senex and Erronious. Themes of freedom, love, lies and lust run throughout the musical.

Ethan Brandt a third year theatre major takes on the role of this cunning slave, Pseudolus. Brandt commands the stage with his performance, completely disappearing into his character.

Chase Di lulio plays the young lovestruck master Hero who is infatuated with the virgin Philia played by Kirsten Wagner. The pair’s portrayal of the romance between the dull-witted characters is sweet and convincing.

Members of the cast brilliantly break the fourth wall without damaging the integrity of the play. The entire production is funny and immersive. The audience remains captivated throughout the show, laughing, cheering and hanging on the characters’ every word.

An excellent use of space, the black box theatre set up allows for great audience interaction and it is clear that director Jeanne Everton made great use of this. Choreographed by Stephanie Locker-Hall, the production incorporates dance and movement so effortlessly. The use of pantomime is executed very well by the actors, especially by the Proteans played by David Bates, Elena Cruce and Gianina Lambert who portray multiple characters in the play.

The cast showcases great vocal talent with special mention to Grace Philipbar playing Domina and Kirsten Wagner. The two sopranos along with the entire cast sang beautifully and were well accompanied by the orchestra. The spotlight work during many of the musical numbers was very effective in drawing the audience in and following along with the characters’ every movement big and small.

With fast-paced costume changes and high-energy dance numbers credit must be given to the actors for pulling off such an upbeat production without losing energy or momentum. There was not a flat moment in the musical. The courtesan women played by Bethany Bordelon, Hilary Corlina, K. J. Felder, Peri Zachmeyer and Abigale Hunt gave extremely captivating and powerful performances.

Overall it is a remarkable performance. Attendees can expect to laugh endlessly and enjoy a truly spectacular and tasteful production. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 817-531-4211. In order to claim a free ticket provided by Texas Wesleyan Student Life and Student Government Association, current students must present their Wesleyan ID on the day of the performance.