June 13, 2013

Playing for laughs

'A Funny Thing' set to open Friday


---- — Courtesans, a scheming slave, music, humor and more will take over the McHale Performing Arts Center stage beginning Friday.

Logansport’s Civic Players will present “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” directed by David Quigney.

The musical tells the story of Pseudolus, a slave who attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master, Hero, win the girl next door.

Ben Colsten will be portraying Pseudolus. Colsten described his character as a conniving, but funny, slave trying to win his freedom.

Colsten said he is looking forward to the response.

“It’s gratifying when people respond well,” Colsten said. “I like to entertain.”

Colsten said people should come to the performance for a laugh. “Everyone needs a good laugh,” Colsten said.

Cody Kopka is portraying Hero. Hero has fallen in love with Philia, a beautiful virgin courtesan from the house of Marcus Lycus, portrayed by Jeremy Hall. Lycus is a buyer and seller of beautiful women next door. The courtesans found in his house include Gymnasia, Panacea, Tintinabula, Vibrata and Geminae.

Kopka described his character as a madly hormonal teenager. Kopka said he is also excited about the comedy.

“It’s going to be hysterical,” Kopka said. “People should come enjoy the humor.”

Kopka's father, Senex, will be portrayed by Peter Noakes. Senex is married to Domina, portrayed by Becki Harris.

Noakes described his character as a dirty old man who scams people. He said he is looking forward to singing two songs in the show.

Director Dave Quigney said the actors have been rehearsing since January. Quigney, who is used to be on the other side of the production as an actor, said it was an adjustment.

Although he directed his first play in the spring, "Quiet Man," this production will be his first time directing a musical.

Quigney said he is looking forward to seeing everything come together.

Local veterinarian and Cass County Commissioner Ralph Anderson is in the play as Erronius.

Anderson described his character as a befuddled old man in search of his long-lost children.

“I’m excited about the comedy,” Anderson. “I will be hilarious. The entire show is hilarious. My intent is to steal the show.”

“And he does,” Kopka chimed in.

"This is a comedy in every sense of the word," Quigney said. "There is no fourth wall in the musical. At one point, every character addresses the audience."

Quigney, a Logansport native, has been involved with Logansport Civic Players since 1996. He said the public should expect to laugh and enjoy some innuendos and tongue-in-cheek humor.

"My favorite part of every show is the show no one sees — the gag reel, so to speak," Quigney said. "The joking, camaraderie and applause is why we do it."

Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or

If you go: WHO: Logansport Civic Players WHAT: Production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. June 21 or 7:30 p.m. June 22 at the McHale Performing Arts Center, 1 Berry Lane COST: Tickets are $15. Call the box office at 574-753-4116. Cast David Quigney -- Director Michelle Moulton -- Assistant Director Ben Colsten -- Pseudolus Peter Noakes -- Senex Becki Harris -- Domina Jered Fitzgerald -- Hysterium Cody Kobka -- Hero Kristen Carey -- Philia Jeremy A. Hall -- Marcus Lycus Ralph Anderson -- Erronius Bradford Moulton -- Miles Glorious Gina Gaumer -- Gymnasium Sabrina Click -- Panacea Lorien Star-Spicer -- Tintinabula Jessica Grady -- Vibrata Maggie Gaumer and Emily Locke -- Geminae