Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Broadway: Beanie Feldstein Chosen for First Ever Revival of “Funny Girl” Since Streisand Launched it In 1964


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!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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