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A Funny Thing is Happening at the Wirtz Center This Winter

Northwestern stage production features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

  • Witty and uplifting musical farce sheds light on gender and social class
  • University’s production of “Forum” is part of Chicago Theater Week 2016
  • Musical will be directed by House Theatre of Chicago’s Matt Hawkins
  • Ticket buyers can purchase $15 tickets to this production with the code THWEEK

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A Tony Award-winning musical based on the ancient Roman comedies of playwright Plautus continues the winter 2016 Mainstage season at Northwestern University’s Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” will be staged from Feb. 12 through Feb. 28 at the Wirtz Center’s Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. 

During the run of this Evanston campus musical comedy, the Wirtz Center is partnering with the League of Chicago Theatres for Chicago Theatre Week 2016, promoting the rich cultural landscape of theatre throughout Chicago and the surrounding communities.

Ticket buyers can purchase $15 tickets to this production with the code THWEEK. A discount is available for the Feb. 12 through Feb. 21 performances only and is not valid in combination with any other offer. Inventory is limited and the offer is subject to availability.

Northwestern’s “Forum” production features a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. 

In “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” Rome is flipped upside down when a quick-thinking slave named Pseudolus’ attempts to win freedom in a matchmaking scheme that sparks a vaudevillian romp of Grecian slaves, soldiers and whores. 

Turning the ancient comedies of Plautus into a farce for the ages, Matt Hawkins, House Theatre company member and Northwestern adjunct theatre professor, directs this satirical musical comedy with a reimagined take on gender stereotypes, social class and the intersection of love and comedy. 

Hawkins also directed the Wirtz Center’s acclaimed summer 2014 musical production of “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25; 7:30 p.m. Friday Feb. 26; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28.

Tickets are $30 for general public; $27 for Northwestern employees, educators and seniors over age 62; $10 for full-time students with valid IDs (at the door); or $5 tickets exclusively for full-time Northwestern students on advance purchase. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more. 

For more information, phone 847-491-4819, visit the Wirtz Center website at or email

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