Comedian Omid Djalili is breaking barriers . . . seriously

 Omid Djalili, whose comedy routines make audiences laugh at their own prejudices, is taking a leap to play Fagin in the musical “Oliver!”

Reporting from London — Over the last 15 years, Omid Djalili, a British-born Iranian comedian and actor, who wryly refers to himself as “a Middle Eastern person,” has become gradually famous by breaking down cultural differences and ethnic barriers.His appealing stand-up routines hinge on making audiences laugh at their own prejudices, exploring British attitudes to “otherness” and observing that what various ethnic and religious groups have in common is as important as what divides them.

Still, even for a performer familiar with this territory, his latest venture represents a huge leap. On Monday, Djalili, 43, takes over from Rowan Atkinson as Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’s West End production of the musical “Oliver!”


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