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“Funny Girl” Revival

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    runninglikewater
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    #1204388548

    Recent rumor mill says Beanie Feldstein will be starring as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” opening on Broadway in April!
    https://www.theatermania.com/broadway/news/beanie-feldstein-fanny-brice-funny-girl_92599.html

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    adamunc
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    #1204388918

    She’s a good choice.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    #1204389094

    I don’t know if they should even attempt a revival of this. The role of Fanny Brice is so strongly associated with Barbra Streisand similar to how the role of Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz is so strongly associated with Judy Garland. Casting anybody else in that role, even if they’re talented, will only be compared negatively.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204389312

    ^The Streisand factor is pretty much one of the reasons why Funny Girl hasn’t been revived on Broadway yet. Although I have read old columns Michael Riedel wrote back in 1999 covering the last Broadway revival of The Music Man. When that production was announced, so many big name actors at the time were reportedly offered the role of Harold Hill, but turned it down. Among them were apparently Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Patrick Swayze, and John Travolta.

    In a column that was published on June 21st of that year, it had the title of “Is There a ’Music Man’ in the House? – Harold Hill is One of Broadway’s Best Roles. So Why Doesn’t Anyone Want It?”. One of the reasons Riedel mentioned as to why so many people were turning it down was this:

    “For one thing, the role is so closely identified with Robert Preston – who created it on Broadway in 1957 and reprised it in the 1962 movie – that comparisons will be inevitable.

    And who wants to be compared with Preston? He was, after all, one of Broadway’s greatest leading men. He had enormous energy, confidence and charm, and he made singing and dancing look easy.

    ”You look at the list of stars they’ve gone after and none of them – none of them – has what Bob Preston had,” said a person involved in “The Music Man” revival.

    Of course, the upside to tackling “The Music Man” is that if it’s a hit, the guy playing Harold Hill gets the credit, and very possibly a Tony Award.

    That’s what happened with Lou Diamond Phillips two years ago in “The King and I.” Naysayers didn’t think anyone could better Yul Brynner. But Phillips made the King young and sexy, walking off with a Tony nomination in the process.”

    So the producers ended up looking through less starry actors before eventually settling on Craig Bierko. Riedel later mentioned in a subsequent column that “Preston comparisons are inevitable, but the early word is that Bierko’s up to the job.” Apparently during his audition, he sang ‘Ya Got Trouble’ as if it were “a Shakespearean monologue.” Director/choreographer Susan Stroman told the New York Post that “He had the diction and the musicality. And from that time on, I have not thought of Robert Preston for one minute.” Craig Bierko ended up receiving rave reviews for his performance as well as a Tony nomination (although some did compliment him for vocally sounding very identical to Robert Preston). This year, we’re gonna be getting a new Broadway revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman as Harold Hill.

    Overall, the point I’m trying to make is that it’s never easy to find the right performer to take on a role that was previously made famous by someone who made it iconic with their performance. But if the creative team can find the right performer who they believe is up to the job, then they should be given a chance.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    #1204389485

    Well, if this actually does become a thing, then the lead actress is going to have to get rave reviews across the board to convince me she’s on par with Barbra Streisand.

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    adamunc
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    #1204389778

    Another main reason Funny Girl hasn’t been revived is that the score has to cover the sins of a weak book.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204391800

    Beanie Feldstein will officially be starring as Fanny Brice.
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Beanie-Feldstein-Will-Lead-Broadway-Revival-of-FUNNY-GIRL-20210811

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    adamunc
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    #1204391971

    Apparently Harvey Fierstein is revising the book, which is probably a good move.

    David Zinn is a great choice for the scene design.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204879203

    As the very first Broadway revival of Funny Girl began previews last night (which also happened to have been the 58th anniversary of the original production’s opening), someone managed to record an audio snippet of Beanie Feldstein’s rendition of ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade,’ and it has been posted on Twitter.

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    Suzanne Vale
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    #1204879467

    Oy, a bit rough!

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    Luke Dias
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    #1204887435

    Oy, a bit rough!

    It’s a live recording rather than a snippet of the cast album, so it’s going to come off awkward without the proper recording equipment and people cheering in the background.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204915971

    This week’s episode of CBS Sunday Morning did a segment on the revival. For those who weren’t able to catch it, I’ve provided a link right here.

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