Broadway's first-ever revival of Funny Girl began performances at the August Wilson Theatre March 26. Opening night is set for April 24. Directed by Michael Mayer, the production features a revised book by Harvey Fierstein, adapting the original book by Isobel Lennart.
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The work, which premiered on Broadway in 1964, is a biomusical centered on Broadway and vaudeville star Fanny Brice. The original production propelled a young Barbra Streisand to international fame; she would reprise her stage performance in the 1968 film adaptation, winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in the process. The score, with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill, introduced such standards as "I'm the Greatest Star," "People," "Don't Rain On My Parade," and "The Music That Makes Me Dance."
Also in the cast are Peter Francis James as Florenz Ziegfeld, Ephie Aardema as Mrs. Nadler, Debra Cardona as Mrs. Meeker, Toni DiBuono as Mrs. Strakosh, Martin Moran as Tom Keeney, and Julie Benko as the standby for Fanny Brice.
The ensemble comprises Amber Ardolino, Daniel Beeman, Kurt Csolak, Leslie Donna Flesner, Afra Hines, Masumi Iwai, Aliah James, Stephen Mark Lukas, John Thomas Manzari, Katie Mitchell, Justin Prescott, Mariah Reives, and Leslie Blake Walker. Rounding out the company are standbys Liz McCartney and Jeremiah James, and swings Colin Bradbury, John Michael Fiumara, Danielle Kelsey, and Alicia Lundgren.
Mayer leads a creative team that includes choreography by Ellenore Scott, tap choreography by Ayodele Casel, music supervision and direction by Michael Rafter, scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kevin Adams, sound design by Brian Ronan, and hair design by Campbell Young Associates. Casting is by Jim Carnahan and Jason Thinger.
The production also includes orchestrations by Chris Walker; dance, vocal, and incidental music arrangements by Alan Williams; additional arrangements by Carmel Dean and David Dabbon; music coordination by Seymour Red Press and Kimberlee Wertz; and vocal supervision by Liz Caplan.