As reported here two weeks ago, a major revival is in the works for next spring on Broadway: the Stephen Sondheim-Burt Shevelove-Larry Gelbart 1963 romp A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Plans are for the show to star James Corden — who won a 2012 Tony for his indefatigable, hilarious performance in One Man, Two Guvnors — in the role of Pseudolus created by Zero Mostel (who also starred in the 1966 film) and played in subsequent revivals by Phil Silvers and, most recently, Nathan Lane in 1996. Production will be directed by sizzling youngster Alex Timbers (Here Lies Love, Rocky), though deals are incomplete. The veteran producing trio is Emanuel Azenberg, Jill Furman and Roy Furman. Show marked Sondheim’s debut as composer and lyricist, following his work as lyricist on West Side Story (music: Leonard Bernstein) and Gypsy (music: Jule Styne). A Funny Thing Happened is a heady, punny riff on the comedies of Plautus in which the slave Pseudolus yearns for freedom and strikes a deal with his lovestruck master to earn it. The show famously was rescued from early, bewildered audiences who didn’t know what to make of it until Sondheim penned a new opener, “Comedy Tonight,” preparing them for the general lunacy that followed.
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