The Dickinson Community Players (DCP) brought an air of comedy to the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4) this past weekend with their first in-person show since the beginning of the pandemic, titled “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Revue.”
Taking their own spin on the 1960s musical, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” the show followed Pseudolus, a servant in Rome in ancient times who will do whatever it takes to buy his freedom. In order to do so, Pseudolus conjures up a deal with his younger master, Hero, to help him catch the attention of Philia, the girl of his dreams, in exchange for his own freedom.
However, this is not an easy task. Many obstacles stand in Pseudolus’ way, including Hero’s disapproving parents and an unlikely appearance by a captain who is also in search of his bride. The show takes lots of chaotic twists and turns when Pseudolus gets the neighbors and community involved. Lying, tricking and disguising occur — always with the best of intentions, of course. But when all of the deceit begins to unravel, the characters’ true colors show and Pseudolus must take these plot twists as they come to him, all for the greater purpose of helping his master and getting to live as a free man.
Chetna Khunteta, director of the show and a senior majoring in psychology, said her cast and crew have been working on the production since September.
“I did this show because I first learned about it actually in [Theatre 101: Introduction To Musical Theatre] here,” Khunteta said. “As soon as I learned about the show I just instantly fell in love with it and I was like, ‘I have to direct this show.’”
Despite some technical difficulties and casting issues, the DCP was able to adapt with what it had and made the decision to add a cabaret in the middle, transforming it into a kind of revue. Khunteta said the revue style ended up working out well, especially when the cast was faced with these various obstacles.
Todd Sweeney, a sophomore double-majoring in English and psychology, played Hero in the show and said he saw performing in the show as a new, fun opportunity.
“This was my first college production even though I did a bunch of stuff in high school and funny enough, I wanted to take a break from theatre this semester,” Sweeney said. “But then my friend who has friends from DCP was telling me how they needed people. I decided, why not — I’ll have fun.”
Henry Lee, a senior double-majoring in biology and environmental science, said his decision to audition was more spontaneous, and he enjoyed his experience preparing for the role of Erronius.
“This is my first time acting outside of middle school,” Lee said. “I know the director, she’s a good friend of mine, she told me she was having a show, so I came to audition and here I am. It’s been a blast and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great way to spend time, and you know that’s what it is, spending a lot of time. But anyone who’s interested should definitely consider giving it a shot. Give it a go, that’s what I say.”
As one of the main characters in the show, Sweeney said he went through an unexpected auditioning process, but it all worked out in the end.
“I auditioned for a mid-size role, but about three days later they emailed me asking if I wanted to be Hero, the lovesick juvenile,” Sweeney said. “So I went along with it, and I’ve been having a blast so far. I have made a lot of good friends and memories. This play has been a lot of fun.”