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Sold out, seriously

  • Bill Buley/The Garden Island

    Some cast members of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” strike a pose during rehearsal. From left, Billy Quebido as Hero, Jeff Elkins as Pseudolus and Kenna Shafter as Philia.

  • Bill Buley/The Garden Island

    Arnold Meister, director of “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” by the Kauai Community Players, enjoys a light moment before rehearsal.

LIHUE — If you were planning to buy tickets to “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,” you seriously waited too long on your way to the Kauai Community Players website.

The musical comedy written by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Arnold Meister is completely sold out. We’re talking all 16 shows, from the first on Jan. 4 to the last on Feb. 4. There’s nothing even left for the final performance next Sunday.

That’s good news for those in the production, but bad news for those who wanted to see this show that’s earned strong reviews, standing ovations and generated much buzz on the coconut wireless.

Meister, a veteran of the stage, was delighted that each of the 54 seats at the Puhi Theatrical Warehouse are accounted for each night.

“I was pretty astounded myself,” he said Thursday. “To be sold out so early, I just can’t believe it.”

While there was some hope extra shows might be added, Meister said there won’t be any holdovers. KCP puts on four shows in six months, so the turnaround time from one play to the next is short.

“I wish we could (add shows),” he said.

For those who did see it, the fast-paced and humorous show has a strong cast, original costumes, terrific music and colorful setting.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum is described as elements of farce, puns, the slamming of doors, cases of mistaken identity and satirical comments on social class, says KCP’s website.

The title derives from a line often used by vaudeville comedians to begin a story: “A funny thing happened on the way to the theater.” It takes place in Rome 200 years before the Christian era one day in the spring.

Jeff Elkins plays the lead role of a slave named Pseudolus, who is trying to win his freedom by helping his young master win over the girl next door. Ron Woods plays Senex, Jason Blake plays Lycus, Billy Quebido plays Hero, Bailey Hutton plays Protean 1, Ross Martineau plays Hysterium, Wil Welsch plays Erronius and Kenna Shafter plays Philia.

Meister said there are many reasons the show has done so well. Kauai has a loyal theater-going public, it’s both a sophisticated and funny musical at the same time, and the cast, he added, is “just extraordinary.”

“The evening goes by in flash,” he said.

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