Hero needed for local musical

Auditions for Ladysmith Little Theatre's first musical on Oct. 17

Alan Watt says he is holding out for a Hero.

Watt, the director of Ladysmith Little Theatre’s first musical production, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, will be holding final auditions on October 17 to fill the young male role, along with a few others that are still needed.

“We’re really looking for young women, we’ve got all the senior men cast,” he said. “The more that we can choose from, the better.”

A Funny Thing Happened… is a musical comedy set in ancient Rome. It tells the story of Pseudolus, a crafty slave struggling to win the hand of a beautiful but dim-witted courtesan named Philia for his young master, Hero, in exchange for freedom. However, Philia has been sold to Miles Gloriosus, a renowned warrior. A tangled web of lies and mishaps follow when Miles comes to claim his bride.

Some of the jokes in the script are derived from that period, Watt said, giving it a real roots feel.

“The actual writers of this play went back to the Roman playwright Plautus, because a lot of his works survived,” Watt explained. “He did comedy that would be quite at home today, in terms of mistaken identity, some slapstick and different types of wit and humor. It’s really funny.”

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will not only be the first musical undertaken by the Little Theatre, it will also be the largest budgeted production in its history because of the added cost of musical rights.

“It’s done pantos, which are musical Christmas shows, but this will be a full musical comedy,” Watt said. “The budget itself is three times bigger than any previous budget they’ve had.”

Watts will be looking to cast parts for three young men (ages 15-35), one older woman (45+) and seven young females (ages 15-35).

Cast members can expect to spend about three months on the production, which opens March 22. Rehearsals will start in January and take place about three times a week.

“The first month you’re not going to be doing anything but voice and movement.”

Watt said people with no prior experience should not be afraid to participate in the auditions.

“With musicals period, everyone thinks they’re not a good enough dancer or singer, but the thing is with musicals, the number one ingredient is energy,” he said. “You can have somebody with a mediocre voice and if they’re pouring out energy at the audience, they’re going to blow the audience away.”

The auditions will be held October 17 from 7-9 p.m. at the Diamond Hall on the left side of Christie Road just before the Little Theatre. Those auditioning should be prepared to read lines, sing a song and follow simple dance instructions. For more information, call 250-245-2881 or visit www.ladysmiththeatre.com