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Don't Miss Any of This Summer’s Lyric Rep Shows

Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014

production photo from Lyric Rep, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

All four Lyric Rep productions are now open at the Caine Lyric Theatre, 28 W. Center Street, Logan, including "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

The Old Lyric Repertory Company at Utah State University presents four theatrical productions in repertory for the 2014 season.

“The Lyric has been a big part of the community since 1967,” said Dennis Hassan, co-artistic director of the Lyric Rep. “This season we have a great cast from across the country, a solid season of comedies and one significant drama.”

This year’s season opened with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a musical comedy by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This musical takes comedy back to its roots, combining situations from time-tested comedies of ancient Rome to the infectious energy of classic vaudeville.

“The musical numbers in ‘A Funny Thing’ are quite well done throughout,” writes Jay Wamsley of the Deseret News. “In fact, ‘Funeral Sequence’ in the second act is probably the production’s highlight.”

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is rated intermediate for mild language and can be seen July 17, 24, 30 and Aug. 2 before the season closes.

Forum is a surprisingly complicated show, and I love a challenge,” said Vanessa Ballam, the show’s director. “It’s great for the actors to flex their vaudevillian muscles and all while singing Sondheim’s lyrics and melodies. I’m working the cast very hard, this won’t be your traditional Forum in every sense, we have some tricks up our sleeves.”

Will Evans and Arthur Valentine’s spirited farce Tons of Money follows Aubrey Allington, a broke inventor who inherits tons of money, only to find he won’t see a penny of it because of his massive debts. He hatches a brilliant scheme to fake his own death and resurface as distant cousin, George, as he plans to claim the fortune and skip out on his creditors.

Tons of Money is an amusing and pleasant comedy that holds up well after all these years, and, frankly, is held up well by a strong cast of actors,” writes Wamsley.

Audiences can see Allington in the fight for his riches July 25 and 31. “Tons of Money” is rated intermediate for mild language.

“To this day I’ve never laughed as hard as I did when I was 11 years old watching ‘Tons of Money,’” said Richie Call, co-artistic director for the Lyric Rep and grandson of W. Vosco Call, director of the show and founder of the Caine Lyric Theatre. “This is the year I get to play the very role that made me laugh so hard, and to top it off, my grandfather is directing me.”

The Musical of Musicals, The Musical, structured into five different acts, parodies and pays homage to the styles of five different theater composers, all dealing with the same classic melodrama plot. From a Rodgers and Hammerstein version to a Stephen Sondheim version, the audience will see five different versions of the same classic melodrama plot.

“The entire cast hits a home run with its showstopping and over-the-top finale,” Wamsley said in his Deseret News review.

With book, music and lyrics by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart, this comic valentine to musical theater plays July 18, 23, 26 and 29. The Musical of Musicals, The Musical is rated Intermediate for mild language.

“If you know musical theater, this show will be incredible for you,” said Jim Christian, director of the show. “If you don’t, it will still be a blast with humor that works on every level.”

The fourth show of the season is The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance. The play chronicles the story of John Merrick, treated first as a fairground freak because of his deformed body. As a carnival attraction, Merrick is known only as The Elephant Man.

Audiences can see Merrick evolve from an object of pity to a witty favorite of the aristocracy July 19, 22 and Aug 1 at the Caine Lyric Theatre.

The Elephant Man is rated intermediate for mild language and mature themes.

“We tend to judge people on external appearances but the soul is much more important,” said Ken Risch, the production’s director head of the Department of Theatre Arts at the Caine College of the Arts at USU. “The play explores Merrick’s impact on those who take the time to get to know him rather than use him for his own gain. Through his transformational relationship with Merrick, Treves begins to question his own standards and motives, as well as those of Victorian England.”

The Lyric Rep is a company of theater professionals and advanced university theater students.

“The Lyric season closes Aug. 2. Great tickets are still available along with discounted season passes,” said Denise Albiston, director of marketing at Caine College of the Arts. “It’s an amazing season, a tremendous cast and in a historically beautiful theater. It’s something not to be missed!”

Tickets for the 2014 season are on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the CCA Box Office in room 139-B of the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s Logan campus,  call 435-797-8022 or see the college’s Production Services website.

Related links:

Contact: Denise Albiston, 435-797-1500,

Writer: Whitney Schulte, 435-797-9203,

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