Local News

Little Theatre comedy focuses on ancient Rome

SEBRING - Keeping the audience laughing is one of the goals of Highlands Little Theatre's latest production. "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," a musical with music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim, focuses on a slave's efforts to win his freedom by helping his master to win the love of a woman, according to Wikipedia. The plot contains numerous twists in relation to that. "It's a very funny show," said Tammie Pollard, the director. "Most people start laughing at the beginning and they don't stop laughing until the end."
Pollard said this will be the third time during the past 30 years that Highlands Little Theatre has featured the play and the second time she directed it. She said that as part of the 30th anniversary, Highlands Little Theatre is featuring this season the most popular plays of previous years. Audiences in the past have rated "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" as a favorite. Pollard recalled that she first directed the play in 1997. That was the first time she directed a musical, she said. "I thought maybe I could do it better this time," she said, adding that she's directed other plays since then. Pollard, a teacher at Sebring High School, said she began acting in high school plays and returned to it after graduating college. Todd Coleman, who plays Hysterium, the chief slave in the house of Senex, said the role is a challenge because it's a different type of production from the ones in which he has recently acted. Those were either dramas or different types of comedies, he said. Coleman began acting in middle and high school. He said he left the area for a while and that since he's returned he's been in several productions at Highlands Little Theatre. "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" will continue through Sunday, July 28. Evening shows will be Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Matinees will be on Saturday and Sunday. To buy tickets, go to www.highlandslittletheatre.org or call (863) 382-2525. jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834