Instead of tragedy comes comedy tonight

Written by Syed Ali

Throughout the month of October, the Krannert Center of Performing Arts held the musical play A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The play employed various jokes, expressions, and situations to bring out endless laughter from the audience. The slogan “Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight!” held true as the musical comedy made an interesting inquiry into freedom and making light of a situation.

Almost everything about the play made me laugh/smile. From the fourth wall-breaking to the exaggerated characters, the jokes and statements felt very sincere and funny. The humor came from various places; situations and dialogue were the driving forces, while the expressions, postures, and wild running added on to the chaos. The self/audience referencing caught me off guard, but the characters executed it very well. One character threw a cloth piece into the audience while another exclaimed directly addressing the crowd. It was surprising as I didn’t expect a play to make jokes about the audience or themselves, but it was a funny experience whenever they employed it.

One ridiculous thing that made me smile was the moment of chaos involving the general and Pseudolus. The general anxiety and characters running around combined with little nuances and music made for a smile-invoking situation. Another ridiculous moment involved the statue. In the beginning, I thought it was a prop statue, but to my shock and delight the statue abruptly moved in a musical scene.

Overall, the play pulled silly acts and several references that all made for a great time. Every character, their voices and actions, felt real but ridiculous at the same time. Hysteria’s hysterical exclamations and Pseudolus’ overarching confidence contrasted well and created many humorous moments. I loved everything about this play as it was not only funny/humorous, but also joyful and immersive.

Moments after the play

Photos by Syed Ali

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