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Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Carrollwood center presents 'Funny Thing Happened on Way to Forum'

CARROLLWOOD - It takes a lot more than comedy, drama, music, acting and a few unforced errors to put together a great Broadway show. The Carrollwood Cultural Center is hosting the Broadway show, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," through Sunday. Craig Hartfield is directing the show along with Paul Berg, CCC executive director. The show has been around for years, and almost everyone knows Zero Mostel's famous version of the showstopper, "Comedy Tonight." The show is a farce with three acts and a cast of only nine, but the cast, the production and the music were the furthest things from the minds of Hartfield and Berg as they labored to put together a top-level stage big enough to hold the musicians.
"It's not easy as it looks building a stage for a production this big," Berg said. "A lot goes into it." Just then, Berg and Hartfield saw one beam out of the hundreds of pieces of hardware surrounding the stage that looked just lightly askew. No one in the audience likely would have noticed it, but it was enough to take the beam down and start all over again. Both men pay attention to details and everything has to be just right. "We can't have a mobile stage like a lot of the big shows get to use, but this is a great facility," Berg said. "To be able to have nine musicians playing on the top of the main stage is pretty incredible." Berg said future productions may have a chance to do even more at the CCC. A rotating stage has been discussed, and the theater is known for something that's more daring than movies or television, when a director can simply cut out or reshoot a new scene. Still, that is what makes it exciting, whether an actor flubs a line, or a part of the stage simply happens to fall apart. It's up to Hartfield and Berg that the stage doesn't fall apart, at least until the curtain goes up. To purchase tickets for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" at the Carrollwood Cultural Center, call (813) 269-1310.
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