The musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was so much fun! I loved the show, the cast and their passionate performance. The plot of this play composed of Pseudolus, the slave helping his young master to pursue the girl next door to win his freedom, and lead to a series of funny events.
What I noticed first about this play was that the orchestra(and in this case, we only had a couple musicians) were visible to the audience and they also had a view of the stage. Because the orchestra is usually below the stage, we cannot see their performance and it was unique to me that it is different for this musical.
In the show, it is interesting that the relationship between the slave and the master is rather light-hearted rather than the typical abusive relationship. It makes me think about the history of human slavery in different cultures, including ancient Greece, ancient China and America. My theory is: the more slaves look different from the masters, the less empathetic the masters are toward the slaves and thus results in a more abusive relationship.
Apart from the funny plotline, I also noticed that there was a transgender in the play, which displayed diversity and inclusiveness that I really appreciate.
The scene where the girl Mimi went to the door of Rodolfo for candlelight, it felt highly relatable to me of how a romance blooms in a coincidence. I do not remember if that has ever happened to me, but it was a romantic scene that every girl dream for in real life. Also, now that I think back, I was low-key judging the poet Rodolfo for not being the prince charming in storybooks. He was not financially doing well, and he did not look fit enough. That was a funny thought I had when watching the scene.
When Mimi introduced herself, she said she was an innocent girl who made a living by embroidering flowers on dresses and she loved making roses. She stayed in a little white room every day and appreciated the beauty of flowers. Her name was Lucia, but people called her Mimi-and I realized that it was a classic introduction of a girl in fairytales, such as Cinderella! Cinderella was friends with birds and rats, never been treated well by her stepmom and stepsisters but nevertheless remained a nice girl with wonderful disposition. She was neither social nor wealthy, and she never desired much more of life. She was pitiable, but pretty. Does that gain affection from males and make them more chivalrous? That is interesting to think about. Also, it made me think a lot about the definition of feminity, or of an ideal female. Being quiet, somewhat naive and fragile like a rose sounds like how she depicted herself, and it was highly attractive to the poet(or is it a trait prevalent in females considered traditionally attractive?).
The most memorable and unique part to me about this performance is the english subtitles on top of the stage. Before La Boheme, I have never been to a performance of another language. Technically, I went to “The tear of St. Peters” earlier this semester which was in Italian, but we did not have subtitles for the performance.
P.S. My phone died when I arrived at Krannert, but I found a picture on a friend’s facebook page because he acted in the play!