Texas' Casa Manana had planned to showcase film/television star Tom Arnold in his legit debut playing Pseudolus in their upcoming production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Jan. 26-31.
However, a box office spokesperson told Playbill On-Line (Jan. 25) Arnold is out of the show due to his recuperation from throat surgery, his place taken by David Coffee.
Also in the cast are Jim Weitzer (Hero) and Merwin Foard (Gloriosus).
Arnold achieved fame in the early nineties for his highly publicized marriage (and divorce) to sitcom star Roseanne Barr. Arnold went from being a writer on "Roseanne" to serving as the show's executive producer as well as playing a recurring role in the hit sitcom. Arnold also wrote, produced and starred in two of his own failed television series "The Jackie Thomas Show" and "Tom." Arnold has appeared in several films including: "The Stupids," "True Lies," "Touch," "Nine Months" and cameos in "Austin Powers" and "Coneheads."
According to Ashley Robbins, who handles public relations for Casa Manana, Arnold begged off the production around Christmastime because his doctors felt he wouldn't be sufficiently recovered from the surgery to handle the vocal strain of doing a live show. The Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum closed Jan. 4, 1998 after 36 previews and 715 performances at the St. James Theatre.
The revival saw Nathan Lane's return to Broadway, and then Whoopi Goldberg's gender-bending casting in the central role of Pseudolus. (She was then replaced by "In Living Color's" David Alan Grier and comedian Bob Amaral.) Rip Taylor recently starred in the Big League Theatricals tour of the production.
For tickets ($28-$65) or more information on Forum at Casa Manana in Fort Worth, TX, call (972) 647-5700.