Tragedy Tomorrow, Comedy…Next Season? Broadway Revival of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum Postponed
Tragedy Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight! Strike that, reverse it! While the spring 2015 Broadway theatre season has not even begun yet, we’ve already lost one potential production hoping to bow on Broadway this year. It’s coming down to that point where many productions will need to take a leap of faith and commit to Broadway this season or take a backseat and hold out another year as they finalize their details. One production in particular, that we were very much looking forward to, has announced today it will not arrive this season as slated. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the news that the scheduled Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum has been postponed!
On Monday September 8th, 2014, production representative Chris Boneau announced that the upcoming Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, which was aiming for a Broadway opening during the spring 2015 season had been postponed. In a statement to the media, Boneau said:
“Despite the total commitment from Stephen Sondheim, our director, Alex Timbers and our entire creative team, the producers all agreed that time was beginning to run out to cast and produce A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum this spring in the way we wanted. While we are disappointed, we have decided to postpone the production this season. In fairness to our friends at the Nederlander Organization who have remained staunchly supportive, we have agreed to release the theatre they were holding for us so another show can open in this busy spring 2015 season.”
When it was first announced Forum was interested in mounting a Broadway revival this spring, there was reports that Tony Award winner James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors) (Pictured Right) would lead the production as Pseudolus. However, this summer, reports surfaced Corden was in negotiations to take over The Late Late Show on CBS from Craig Ferguson. On September 8th, CBS officially announced that Corden would take over as host upon Ferguson’s exit in 2015. Ironically, not long after that announcement came the official word Forum would not appear on Broadway this spring.
There us no confirmation whether Corden ever officially signed a contract for Forum. However, the New York Post reported this summer that upon the news Corden was in talks with CBS, the production was already considering others for the role of Pseudolus. Those names included Jim Parsons, Jeese Tyler Ferguson and Josh Gad. All well-known names in the entertainment world! However, we’re guessing none of these have panned out as Forum has officially passed on this season in New York.
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum first appeared on Broadway in May 1962 at The Alvin Theatre. The production went on to play 964 performances and 8 previews beginning at The Alvin Theatre, transferring to the Mark Hellinger and then ending it’s run at the Majestic Theatre. The production starred Zero Mostel (Pictured Left) as Pseudolus. He also starred in the 1966 film remake of the musical. It was directed by George Abbott and produced by Hal Prince. The production went on to win 5 Tony Awards during its premiere including Best Musical. Since then, there have been two revivals on Broadway with one in 1972 and one in 1996. The musical features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart.
The news that A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum will not be arriving on Broadway this spring is indeed sad. Forum is a hilarious musical comedy that just really never gets old to the theatre world. It’s a classic that we haven’t seen on Broadway for over a decade and a revival right now, with the right person as Pseudolus, would be a sure hit! There will never be any official way to confirm that Corden’s departure from the production is what caused is to be postponed. However, we don’t believe that is entirely the reason. James Corden is absolutely an incredible actor who would be a star in the role of Pseudolus in a Forum revival on Broadway. However, I’m sure the production was working to secure other possible names for this role knowing Corden was in talks with CBS. If the production has decided to postpone itself for this season simply to take more time when it comes to casting and mounting the production as a whole, I greatly applaud such a move. Too many productions these days feel the need to move fast and make great mistakes by doing so. Forum taking a backseat to this season and mounting itself next year when it has a name for its leading role may be the best move it ever makes. Fun fact about Forum; any actor who has ever started the role of Pseudolus on Broadway, has gone on to win the Tony Award for their performance! So while we will definitely be sad not to see this sure hilarious comedy on Broadway this season, we are optimistic the production will head to the Great White Way sometime soon!
Luner on Theatre will continue to bring you the news on the postponed production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum on Broadway! While the production will definitely not be seen this year, we will be sure to keep you updated as it may make its way back to New York sooner than we think. Check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!