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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Lakeland Players' 'Forum' becomes a family affair

Len Hodges-Goettl, left, and Mark Badtke rehearse their roles in the Lakeland Players performance of "A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," opening Oct. 4. Lakeland Players photo.

By Herb Moering For Weekender

The Lakeland Players production of "A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," definitely can be called a family show.

At least that's the way Director Donna Badtke sees it, since the cast of 17 performers includes three members of her family.

The show opens Oct. 4 at the Walworth County Performing Arts Center in downtown Elkhorn.

When Badtke turned to her husband, Mark, her daughter, Colleen Walker, and new son-in-law, Sean Walker, to fill out the cast, she knew they could handle the roles.

Mark played the lead character, Pseudolus the Storyteller, twice before. Colleen has been acting since she was 5, and already has been in the role of Philia the Courtesan.

Sean, whose character, Hero, falls in love with Philia, started acting when he was a Delavan-Darien High School student.

Badtke, of Genoa City, described the show as the typical boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy regains girl, in a Roman-Greek period.

She called it one of her favorites.

"It is one of the funniest musicals, where you can just sit back, relax and laugh," Badtke said. "This is the show to see."

The "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," is produced by Wendy Koehnke and under the musical direction of Jeanette O'Dierno.

Koehnke, who has produced and directed Lakeland Players productions in the past, said the "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" is the theater group's 123rd presentation.

Others shows this season include, "A Christmas Carol in Hogpatch Holler" at the end of November, which will be Koehnke's eighth time directing the holiday show.

Additional productions are the Monte Carlo dinner theater show, "Front Row Center, Best of Broadway" in February; "Sylvia" in March and "Rocky Horror Picture Show" in May.

The show continues Oct. 5 and Oct. 10-12. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are available in Elkhorn at Scene II and by calling the ticket manager at (262) 728-5578.


Len Hedges-Goettl, of Kensosha, as Hysterium.
Kenelon Scheske, of Salem, as Senex.
Tom Deichsel, of Lake Geneva, as Lycus.
Kevin Rathunde, of Pell Lake, as Miles.
Jeanette O'dierno, of Walworth, as Domina.
John Roberts, of Mukwonago, as Erronius.
John Kobernick, of Burlington, as Protean 1.
Nathan Russell, Elkhorn,
as Protean 2.
Debbie Gustafson, Lake Geneva, as Tintinabula)
Kasey Cragg, of Burlington,
as Seminae 1.
Ali Nelson, of Elkhorn,
as Seminae 2.
Elizabeth Armstrong, of Delavan, as Vibrata.
Betty Steenstry, of Delavan,
as Gymnasia.


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