Look Back at the Original Production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

The original Broadway production of A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Forum opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre May 8, 1962. The musical comedy, directed by George Abbott with choreography by Jack Cole (and uncredited staging and choreography by Jerome Robbins), played 8 previews and 964 performances before closing August 29, 1964. The production earned eight Tony Award nominations, winning six including Best Musical.

Based on the plays of Plautus, A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Forum tells the story of Ancient Roman slave Pseudolus, who schemes to win his freedom by helping his young master Hero win the affections of beautiful courtesan Philia. The musical, marking the first Broadway production for which Stephen Sondheim wrote both music and lyrics, features a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart.

The musical starred Zero Mostel as Prologus/Pseudolus, David Burns as Senex, John Carradine as Lycus, Brian Davies as Hero, Jack Gilford as Hysterium, Ron Holgate as Miles Gloriosus, Ruth Kobart as Domina, Preshy Marker as Philia, Raymond Walburn as Erronius, Lucienne Bridou as Panacea, Roberta Keith as Tintinabula, Gloria Kristy as Gymnasia, Myrna White, and Judy Alexander and Lisa James as Geminae with David Evans, Eddie Phillips, and George Reeder as Proteans. Rounding out the company were George Martin, Julia Ross, Marie Santell, and Coley Worth as understudies.

A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Forum featured scenic and costume design by Tony Walton and lighting design by Jean Rosenthal, with stage management by Ruth Mitchell and James Bronson. Visit the Playbill Vault for the complete cast and creative team.