It's Howard Payne University's homecoming week and a hilarious thing is about to be staged at Mims Auditorium.

The wonderfully comical 1960s Broadway musical,

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” opens Thursday for a three-night and one matinee run through the weekend.

“Forum” is distinguished said Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, director/choreographer for the production, in that it is one of her all-time favorite musicals. And anyone only familiar with the title because of the movie, is missing a huge delight if they don't see the play, Humfeld said.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the matinee is 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Reservations may be made through the box office at 649-8516 or tickets may be purchased at the door.

The HPU homecoming play is always popular, and being able to stage the production in the newly restored Mims Auditorium is great, Humfeld said, “because we can comfortably accommodate so many more people.”

The play is widely considered one of Broadway's most brilliantly conceived comedies, Humfeld said, sharing one of the original reviews which opines that “'Forum' is gloriously free of serious moments: the show’s action, dialogue, songs and dances are the essence of farce.

“Their single goal is to keep the audience laughing deliriously from the first note of the opening number, 'Comedy Tonight,' until the final curtain comes down,” the review continued.

Humfeld said that was certainly what happened the first time she saw “Forum” performed. She enjoyed the show so much, she returned to see multiple times after her first viewing.

“It was so much fun and the performers were marvelous,” Humfeld said. “The songs are delightful and the story keeps you laughing all the way to the end.”

The Howard Payne cast includes: Timothy Hardy as Pseudolus, the slave who wants to be free; Tucker Hull as Senex, the hen-pecked husband; Alexandra Taliaferro as his wife, Domina; Ben Hohundro as their son Hero; Jared Russell as their slave Hysterium; Taylor Crow as the old-timer Erronius; Timmy Emery as the mighty warrior Miles Gloriosus; Elizabeth Oliver as Philia, who is in love with Hero; Jarrod White as Marcus Lycus, the keeper of the courtesans; Katie Dobson, Lindsey Jones, Dorie Walton, Tiffani Peeples, Hannah Jansen and Judi Parten as the courtesans; and Lawrence Martinez, Ben Palmer and Chris Phelps as the men-of-all-work Proteans.

“The characters whiz from one ridiculous situation to another,” Humfeld said, “and the musical score is full of wonderful songs which contribute to the merriment and zany action.”

“Forum” ran for 964 performances on Broadway, Humfeld said, which is proof that some of the world’s oldest jokes can still delight us and cause us to laugh at ourselves.”