Home Back to Homepage  Click here for online tickets  Signup for CWC Film Announcements Visit and Like our Facebook Page

Cincinnati World Cinema presents
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Film & Discussion
One Night Only   7 PM Saturday, Sep 22
The Garfield Theatre   719 Race St, Cincinnati, 45202

Here's a fun way to enjoy this classic comedy on the big screen and live on stage!
Attend the film on September 22 and receive a 30% discount on adult tickets. Attend any performance at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, September 7-29 and receive a 15% discount on their tix. More info and discount codes are in the Event Details section.
Plus, CWC patrons get a 15% discount at Butcher & Barrel on September 22!

   Starring comedy legends Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Jack Gilford and Buster Keaton, directed by Richard Lester, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, "Forum" is a classic comedy with songs built on the satire of the Roman playwright Plautus, mixing the vaudeville patois of old-school Jewish comedians with the dry British humor of its supporting cast.
   Filled with sight gags and jokes, the film lampoons Roman class and society (and our own as well) using borscht-belt humor and a bawdy nod to the T&A sexual climate of the Sixties. Absolutely politically incorrect on virtually every level, it features deliberately "over-the-top" characters, memorable melodies and possibly the most hilariously absurd chariot chase scene in movie history.
   Surrender to an evening of laughter and pure entertainment! A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum epitomizes vaudevillian burlesque – a funny, wacky, song-and-dance spectacle that never takes itself too seriously. "A comedy tonight" = fun for all!

   In one of ancient Rome's seedier neighborhoods, you'll meet a zany cast of colorful, dysfunctional characters:
Pseudolus (Zero Mostel), a conniving slave in the house of Senex, who wants to be free.
Marcus Lycus (Phil Silvers) runs a brothel, next door to the house of Senex.
Senex's simpleton son Hero (Michael Crawford) loves Philia (Annette Andre), a virginal young concubine-in-training at the brothel, whom he worships from afar.
The elder Senex (Michael Hordern) surreptitiously lusts after Philia, dodging the wrathful eye of his battle-ax wife Domina (Patricia Jessel) and acerbic mother-in-law (Beatrix Lehman).
Marcus Lycus owns Philia and has sold her to the Centurion Miles Gloriosus (Leon Greene), on his way to Rome to claim his prize.
The neurotic Hysterium (Jack Gilford) has Rome's largest collection of erotic pottery and fears being outed by Pseudolus.
Senile and virtually blind, Erronius (Buster Keaton) endlessly circles the city of Rome, searching for his lost children.

   The story spans a single day in which the characters' paths criss-cross and eventually merge: Pseudolus hatches a scheme to gain his freedom by securing Philia as a bride for young master Hero. He enlists the equally opportunistic Marcus Lycus with the promise of riches and coerces a reluctant Hysterium to assist.
   Of course, the plot goes awry amid complications including disguises, long-lost children, cross-dressing, bawdy songs, geese, sexual jokes, blackmail, pratfalls and puns, all while Pseudolus tries to hold things together.

   If you're expecting to see a carbon copy of the Broadway stage show, forget it. Working from the screenplay by Melvin Frank and Michael Pertwee, the newcomers on the tech side had fun plotting a different course. Director Richard Lester brought treatments from his earlier Beatle's films to various sequences; Tony Walton's production design and Nicholas Roeg's cinematography preview MTV styling to come.
   Brilliant colors, rich and deep in interior sets, contrast with the sunny open-air exteriors filmed near Madrid — far surpassing the visual and spatial limitations of the single-set Broadway musical. Ditto for the use of music – several non-essential stage numbers were cut, resulting in better cinematic flow, and becoming a bit less of a musical and more of a comedy with songs.
   All-in-all, a film worth watching and a rewarding counterpoint to the musical stage show at Cincinnati Shakespeare – see 'em both!

Back to Top of Page

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, director Richard Lester; 1966; USA; 99 minutes; Rated PG.

  • Saturday, September 22, 7 PM
Venue opens at 6:00; seating at 6:30.
Late arrivals will be seated at management discretion.
the newly renovated GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St, Cincinnati 45202.  Learn more
Parking Options     Google Map     Drone View
Ample parking at affordable rates —  1,700+ garage spaces within two blocks ‐ Gramercy Garage (next door, enter via Race, 7th or Elm streets), Garfield Garage (9th St., next to the Phoenix) and Macy's Garage (7th Street). Another 363 surface lot spaces within a couple blocks, plus numerous on-street meters.   
Other transport options include the Street Car, Metro, Tank, Uber, Red Bike, etc.
   Ticket prices for the film and post-film discussion are:
   Adult general admission, $10 advance, $15 door.
   Student/ArtsPass general admission, $8 advance, $12 door — must show valid ID upon arrival.
Click here for online tickets

Ticket Discount information:
  • For CWC, enter promo code FUNNYTHING to receive a 30% discount on adult film tickets when ordering online or by phone.
  • For Cincinnati Shakespeare, enter promo code CINEMA to receive a 15% discount on tickets when ordering online or by phone, 513-381-2273.   Valid for all performances September 7 - 29, 2018. Please note - when redeeming online at Cincy Shakes, the discount will not apply until you are logged in during the checkout process. Not valid on previous purchases or with other offers.
ADA ACCESS: We have completely revamped and improved ADA access, with a direct path to wheelchair spaces and companion seats (no ramps, no stairs). Individuals using crutches, walkers or wheelchairs should call ahead to let us know your screening date and time, (859) 957-3456.
It couldn't be easier — across the street from the Garfield, you'll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks. General Manager Randy Procter is offering CWC patrons a 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol.
You'll need your online ticket purchase confirmation or ticket stub from the event, discount valid only for the date on your ticket.
Enjoy a pre- or post-film meal or coffee and dessert, or hang at the bar.
Hours: TUE-THS - Dining, 5-10 pm; bar 3:30 - midnight. FRI-SAT - Dining 5-11 pm; bar 3:30 - 2:30. SUN - Dining 5-9 pm; bar 3:30 - 1-pm. Dinner reservations are recommended. Check out the menus and photos: thebutcherbarrel.com.
QUESTIONS?   Please or call (859) 957 3456.

Visit and Like our Facebook PageLike this on Facebookinvite your friends!

Could this dyanic duo be Cincinnati's version of "Siskel & Ebert" – check out their spirited discussion and see what you think!

John Alberti

John Alberti Dr. John Alberti has taught at Northern Kentucky University for twenty-five years, with focus on the relationship between American literature and popular culture as evidenced in cinema, television and music.

He is currently chair of the English department and director of the Cinema Studies program at NKU, and has been instrumental in bringing the Festival of New French Films to campus in recent years.

John is a graduate of the University of Southern California (BA, English, 1981) and UCLA (MA, English 1984 and Ph.D., English, 1989). He recently authored Screen Ages: A Survey of American Cinema, and his current projects include work on gender in American cinema and television; writing in the digital age; and the movie adaptations of the Harry Potter series.

Joe Horine

Joe Horine Since 2015 Joe Horine has been an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, teaching history and film. In addition, he provides introduction and post-film discussion for presentation of film classics – Hitchcock, Bergman, et. al.

In his corporate life, Joe channelled his reporting and editing skills to direct communication and PR efforts for IBM and Quest Software as well as private consulting.

He is a graduate of DePauw University (BA, English & Communication), Miami University (MA, English) and currently pursuing his Ph.D at the University of Cincinnati.

Back to Top of Page