A "New" Song for Williamstown's Forum

PlayBlog   A "New" Song for Williamstown's Forum
The all-male production of the Stephen Sondheim-Larry Gelbart-Burt Shevelove musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, currently playing Williamstown Theatre Festival through July 11, is boasting more than just testosterone.

The usual Act Two duet between lovers Hero and Philia, "That'll Show Him," has been replaced by "The Echo Song," in which Philia prays to the gods for guidance and Hero offers advice in an echoing reply. We consider ourselves major Sondheim geeks, but we've never heard this charmer before.

Director Jessica Stone told PlayBlog, "It's a song that was written for the original and then scrapped but ultimately used in the '72 revival. I decided to use it in this production because it felt more fitting for the sensibility of our show and I thought it would be an opportunity to show some other traits in Philia. We asked the licensing company for permission to use it, which they thankfully granted."

Philia is played by David Turner (Broadway's The Ritz, Sunday in the Park With George, In My Life and the tour of Spamalot), in a cropped Mia Farrow haircut, who gives a dumb-girl performance full of comic sensitivity. He's the funny calm within the gaggle of clowns that Stone gathered for this revival. Stone's husband, two-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald, is Roman slave Pseudolus. Visit wtfestival.org.

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