Mitchel Butel, Hugh Sheridan, Christie Whelan Set for Australian ...Forum With Oscar Winner Geoffrey Rush
By Adam Hetrick
Mitchel Butel, Shane Bourne, Hugh Sheridan and Christie Whelan will join Academy and Tony Award winner Geoffrey Rush in the Australian staging of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which will begin previews Oct. 20 in Melbourne.
Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies) directs the musical that has a score by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Forum will open Oct. 27 for a 12-week run at Her Majesty's Theatre.
Sondheim will be in attendance for the Oct. 27 opening-night performance of the burlesque musical comedy that plays fast and loose with the works of Roman playwright Plautus.
Rush (The Diary of a Madman, Exit the King, "Shine") will star as Pseudolus, with Butel as Hysterium, Bourne as Senex, Sheridan as Hero, Whelan as Philia, Adam Murphy as Miles Gloriosus, Bob Hornery as Erronius, Magda Szubanski as Domina and Gerry Connolly as Marcus Lycus.
Forum has costume and set design by Gabriela Tylesova, choreography by Andrew Hallsworth, musical direction by Matthew Frank and musical supervision by Guy Simpson.
John Frost, who produced the Australian productions of Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and Chicago, is producing the Melbourne production.
Forum premiered on Broadway in 1962 starring Zero Mostel. It has been revived on Broadway twice, with Phil Silvers in 1972 and with Nathan Lane in 1996. Every actor to play the role of Pseudolus on Broadway earned a Tony Award.
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