Lucas Haupert

Actor goes for all the laughs in Lyric’s ‘Forum’

RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer
rich@dallasvoice.com

Lucas Haupert is ready for his funny moments on the stage this weekend — and he’ll have several of them. The Dallas native and out actor is part of Lyric Stage’s newest production A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which runs through Sunday at the Majestic Theatre.

Haupert was last seen in Lyric’s Ragtime earlier this year and in Garland Summer Musicals’ 9 to 5 the Musical. In Forum, he plays one of the Proteans, who serve as sort of a Greek chorus in the show. He also shares the stage with one castmate with whom he has much in common.

The musical is set in Ancient Rome and offers a mix of vaudevillian bawdiness about Pseudolus, who works to win the hand of Phila for his master Hero with songs by Stephen Sondheim.

Haupert, 29, talked about his part(s) in the musical, working with his boyfriend on the show and his own theater that he founded, Millennial Poison Theatre Co.

On Lyric Stage’s approach to shows: “Lyric strips away the huge sets and presents the bare minimum. Costumes are suggested, and the actors are even used as scenery. We’re creating scenes through movement. When they strip down to the basic elements, you have to listen to the music and what we’re saying. You can really see everything without having to see anything.”

On his role: “I’m one of the Proteans, and I understudy Hysterium. We [the Proteans] help create the background stuff in the show; we’re these side characters who help further the plot. So I go from being a soldier to a eunuch to a sailor and sometimes even serve as scenery and props. Everything we do is a bit.”

Lucas Haupert, center, rehearses with other Proteans for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

On running his own theater: I’m the artistic director of Millennial Poison Theater Company, a project that some friends and I came up with. We do contemporary plays with minimalistic staging. We focus on works that highlight issues relating to upcoming generations like millennials.

“We are starting to become the people who are leading the next generations, and theater gives us a way to say what we need. The pandemic put a wrench in our second season, but I’m trying to get the group back together for maybe one more show.”

On having a very special castmate in Forum: “My boyfriend Danny is in the show. We first met in 2019, but we decided on being boyfriends in October 2020. It’s an interesting love story, and now I’m working with him on a show. But we’re pretty professional about it all.

“We are professional artists; he’s a dancer, and I’m a singer and actor. Having him in the show helps, and I think it’s brought us closer together. He’s good at motivating me, and we talk about what went well and what we need to do next time. But we don’t do every show together.”

What audiences should expect: “There’s theater that tries to tell you something, and then there’s Forum. With this show, there is no heavy morality lesson or deep, hidden message. It is just pure fun, and with times like now with so much turmoil, we could all use a little comedy.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit LyricStage.org.