'Forum' director once played Hero in musical comedy

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It has taken almost a decade, but Nathan Greer has come full circle.

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Taylor Rodgers (from left), Tony Baughman and Meredith Walker rehearse a scene from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  Charmain Z. Brackett/Correspondent
Charmain Z. Brackett/Correspondent
Taylor Rodgers (from left), Tony Baughman and Meredith Walker rehearse a scene from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

The first musical he performed in has become the first musical he will direct.

"I was Hero when I was 16," said Mr. Greer, who is directing the Aiken Community Playhouse's production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which opens Sept. 12.

With music by Stephen Sondheim, A Funny Thing is the story of a slave, Pseudolus, played by Tony Baughman, who wants his freedom and strikes a bargain with his young master, Hero, played by Taylor Rodgers. If Pseudolus can win the hand of Philia, played by Meredith Walker, he gains his freedom.

Mr. Baughman said Pseudolus can be played simply as a stock slapstick character, but he hopes to put a little more into it.

"He is a slave who wants so much to be free. He wants a wife and family. He's not just a slapstick figure. I want to inject that humanity," he said.

Plenty of mayhem ensues when Pseudolus launches his campaign to obtain his freedom. Philia is in a house of courtesans and is pledged to marry a Roman soldier who lives to pillage and destroy.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is filled with twists and turns in the plot.

The play will be performed at 8 p.m. Sept. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 and at 3 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 60 and older, $15 for students and $9 for ages 12 and younger.

For more information, call (803) 648-1438 or visit www.aikencommunityplayhouse.com.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at charmain.brackett@augustachronicle.com.

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