Barbra Streisand burst onto the scene in 1964 with “Funny Girl” and everything changed. Her career took off like a rocket. No Tony wins but everyone was nominated for something. The movie came four years later and Streisand split her Oscar win with Katharine Hepburn.
(Just FYI “Hello, Dolly!” and Carol Channing beat them in almost every category. Then in 1970, Barbra played Dolly in that movie. Crazy world.)
“Funny Girl” has never been revived on Broadway. Until now. I guess they didn’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. But it’s coming next spring, with Beanie Feldstein as Fanny Brice. I’m thrilled. Beanie is one of personal faves, a great girl, if you can still say that! She will sweep the Tony Awards next June.
Beanie– who’s also the sister of Jonah Hill — said in a statement: “The first time I played Fanny Brice was at my third birthday party, in a head-to-toe leopard print outfit my mom made for me. So, it’s safe to say that stepping into this iconic role, on Broadway and not in my family’s backyard, is truly my lifelong dream come true. I am immensely grateful to be able to do so alongside such a remarkable creative team, and cannot wait for audiences to get back in theaters again!”
Just FYI Leah Michele of “Glee” was rumored to get this role many years ago. She certainly campaigned for it. But nothing came together. I’m told that on social media there are catty depictions of Leah Michele being very disappointed. Well, I’m sure she’s moved on and has better things to do than think about this.
Michael Mayer is directing, Sonia Friedman (no relation to moi) is producing, Matt Polk is doing the PR, and this will be a big rival in Best Revival of a Musical to Hugh Jackman’s “Music Man.” Buckle up! And mask up!
PS Beanie starred in a movie last year called “How to Build a Girl.” See it. Rent it, stream it, steal it. The pandemic ruined the release. But it is wonderful, and she should have had her breakout moment right there!