A funny Megan Cavanagh happened on the way to this Forum

Oct 12

A funny Megan Cavanagh happened on the way to this <i>Forum</i>

Anybody's enjoyment of the 1962 Stephen Sondheim/Burt Shevelove/Larry Gelbart musical farce A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum depends largely on the actor playing Pseudolus, the lie-spouting slave and comedy motor at the center of the show.

Zero Mostel originated the role – did anyone have a bigger comic motor than Zero? – Phil Silvers played it in 1972 and Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg took turns in the most recent Broadway revival in 1996. I've seen several productions of Forum and experienced what the Romans used to call Pseudolus annoyaolus, which is to say, the actors in the role were working so laboriously to be funny that I never laughed. It's not surprising that Pseudolus breaks a sweat, but I really don't want to.

The 42nd Street Moon production of Forum now at the Eureka Theatre is the first where I didn't grow to dread the ever-expanding machinations of Pseudolus, who never met a lie he couldn't enlarge. The reason is simple: Megan Cavanagh. She's doing a little gender bending to play the scheming slave, and she's marvelous. The old vaudevillian aspect of the role doesn't escape her, nor does she belabor it. She's a natural comic, so she doesn't have to force the laughs. And she's absolutely charming. She has grace where other Psuedolii have goals. She makes you laugh while they want to make you laugh.

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Apr 11

Spirits are blithe in Moon’s `High Spirits’««« ½ What’s the point of reviewing a show just a few days before it closes? Not much from a commercial point of view. But given the sudden interest in all things Noel Coward, I had to check out 42nd Street Moon’s production of High Spirits, a 1964 musical based on Coward’s play Blithe...

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Megan Cavanagh is into `Out of This World’

Jun 05

Actor Megan Cavanagh has the kind of living arrangement you might see on a TV sitcom – in fact, you should see it on a TV sitcom. Every time she tells someone about her house and her family, someone inevitably says, “You should totally write a show about that!” Here’s the deal: Cavanagh was married, as she puts it, “many moons ago,”...

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