The Roman Farce opens at the Art Center Theater | Way of life

The Art Center Theater will open in 2022 with Stephen Sondheim’s joyful musical frolics through ancient Rome. “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” has desperate lovers, scheming neighbors and a secret behind every toga as the cunning slave Pseudolus tries to win the hand of a beautiful but slow-moving courtesan for his young master, Hero, in exchange for his freedom.

But, of course, no prank would be complete without plot twists, with instances of mistaken identity, slamming doors and a showgirl or two. And it’s all performed to music by Stephen Sondheim in this Tony Award-winning piece.

Directed by Karrie Bailey under the musical direction of Danielle Flury-Downey, the musical stars Caleb Namey as Hero, Kaileigh Moran as Philia, Richard Flury as Senex, Julie Imbrogono as Domina, Kyle Flanagan as Hysterium, Timmy Spence as Lucus, Gary Ammerman as Peuudolus, Pam Hall as Gymnasia, Tom Venable as Erronius, Justin Zacek as Miles Gloriosus, Lisa Peterson as Tintinabula, Dianne Klatt as Panacea, Pat Maynard and Kelly S[hostasBeninaeJoniSteffensasFibrataandRJCantagalioGeorgeLivermoreandHarlinVermeerasProteans[emceeastheBeninaeJoniSteffensasFibrataandJoniSteffensasFibrataandJoniSteffensasFibrataandJoniSteffensasFibrataandJoniSteffensasFibrataandJoniSteffensasFibrataandJoniSteffensasFibrataandJoniSteffensas[animateurcommeBeninaeJoniSteffenscommeFibrataetRJCantagalioGeorgeLivermoreetHarlinVermeercommeProtéens[emceeastheBeninaeJoniSteffensasFibrataandRJCantagalioGeorgeLivermoreandHarlinVermeerasProteans

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Nicole Moran is stage manager and the play is performed on a set constructed by set construction coordinator Gary Boesch and the set construction team of Michael Wells, Chris Peters, Bill Dagenhart, Doug Haynes and Richard Flury.

The set was painted by Todd Mast, with a decorative mural by Doug, Dianna, Hannah and Laura Haynes. Doug Haynes constructed the bust and Karrie Bailey was responsible for the props. Dianna Haynes created the lighting and sound design and Sandy Hynes and Ralph Shaffer take care of the theater’s technical booth where lighting and sound are controlled.

The play will run over two weekends, opening January 7 and closing January 16. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $21 and are available at the box office on the Art Center campus or by calling 352-746-7606. The box office is open 1 to 4 weekdays and one hour before performances.

Dora W. Clawson