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Sondheim’s Funny Thing Happens to Omid Djalili???

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Could a revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum also get in under the wire as part of the 80th birthday celebrations for Stephen Sondheim? The 1962 Broadway musical, set in ancient Rome, was the first for which Sondheim wrote both the music and the lyrics, and impresario Cameron Mackintosh is reportedly planning to dust it off and lure actor-comedian Omid Djalili back to the musical stage to star as Pseudolus, the slave who will stop at nothing to win his freedom. Djalili, who made his musical debut last year playing Fagin in Mackintosh’s production of Oliver! at Drury Lane, told The Stage that he was in talks to play the role, though the revival wouldn’t happen until “next year at the earliest” – thus, missing out on the Sondheim anniversary.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum has a book by Larry Gelbart and Burt Shevelove. The part of Pseudolus was originated on Broadway by Zero Mostel. In London, it’s been played by fellow comedians Frankie Howerd and Roy Hudd. The most recent London production, at the National Theatre in 2004, starred Desmond Barrit as the slave and Philip Quast.

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