The Funny Girl Curse Strikes Again

Categories: Theater

Lauren_Ambrose_2000.jpg
Lauren Ambrose

No one can play Fanny Brice in Funny Girl except Barbra Streisand, who plays it every time her immortal performance turns up when the movie shows.

Her fiery, hilarious, heartbreaking force-of-nature genius in the role looms over anyone else daring to come near it, spewing a giant rainfall on their parade.

So, it was no surprise when they announced last week that the revival starring the talented but not necessarily explosive Lauren Ambrose would be postponed.

After all, I remember premature announcements about past productions with Taylor Dayne and Sandra Bernhard that never materialized, everyone acting like they'd never been buzzed about in the first place.

In 1996, the spunky Deborah Gibson -- then billed as Debbie Gibson -- toured as Fanny, but according to this link, after Green Bay, Wisconsin, "all remaining dates were cancelled."

And Leslie Kritzer reportedly did well in the role at Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011, but there wasn't enough star wattage there to move it somewhere larger.

So the message remains:

Even if you can convincingly sing, "I'm the greatest star," you're still not as good as Babs -- especially in this economy!

Stick to safer revivals or perhaps replacing people in Chicago.



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
23 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
DKLA
DKLA

I saw PIA ZADORA as Fanny Brice.   PIA ZADORA!

Sand
Sand

How was she???

gcndc
gcndc

I was looking forward to seeing Lauren do this.  I think she could have pulled it off. I feel bad for her.  But at least they left her character alive at the end of Torchwood.

Fandoo deals
Fandoo deals

very good post, i was really searching for this topic as i wanted this topic tounderstand completely and it is also very rare in internet that is why it was verydifficult to understand thank you for sharing this.

Fundoo Marketing

Terric4465
Terric4465

Can't think of a time in my life....that there hasn't been Barbra. Kinda like the Holidays...or a good old friend;)

Lord Jesus
Lord Jesus

When I saw Streisand sing "I am the greatest star," I said to myself, she is!

Terric4465
Terric4465

I don't think" there has ever been a show of the stature of "Funny Girl" that has been as tailored to the very soul of an actress/singer.....as "Funny Girl" was to Barbra Streisand..The fact that it was the foundation on which one of the the most amazing versatile and groundbreaking show business careers was based...  is a credit to it's star,writers and production team.....at the time. So huge was her success....that not only was she the toast of Broadway....but on the billboard charts....she was toasting with the Beatles.It was a very rare occurrence. Both. the actress and the vehicle she used to showcase her talents. They were and are one in the same. .Big shoes to fill.....and the point is......Why bother? We have the movie.....and we still have it's star! 

Lord Jesus
Lord Jesus

....and we still have the star. And we love her.

Ohbutyes
Ohbutyes

It wasn't accidental, NO! She knew it.

bsomers
bsomers

The socalled Broadway powerhouses of today are NOT in the same league as Barbra and her peers in the 50s and 60s.  Idina, Kristin, Sutton, and all others have limited range, no star quality, and are not as bankable as you think.  FG has a sometimes good, sometimes great score and a crappy book.  Unless you have a director with taste and a shrewd book revisor, you will be sunk no matter who is the star.  Lauren who?  A nice young actress who does not have the wit, charisma, and drive for this huge part.  Even though she is not Jewish, Lady Gaga is the ideal choice for the role as she can sing it, prob act it, and would put asses in the seats.

I Can Cook Too
I Can Cook Too

I would love to have seen Barbara Cook's performance as Fanny--she did it decades ago.  She's not whom I think of when "homely Jewish comedienne" is mentioned, but she has recorded some of the songs and they soar.

Whompers
Whompers

Where did she play Fanny?

Ulu
Ulu

I guess Bobby Cannavale, who was cast as Nickie Arnstein, isn't enough of a name to carry this thing to broadway either.

Ralph Benner
Ralph Benner

Lauren played one of the best retards I've ever seen on "Law & Order." As close as an actor gets to the real thing. She started out an annoying little bitch in "Six Feet Under," but eventually she took over and she kept the finale from going over the cliff.

fredo718
fredo718

There are quite a few female powerhouses who work on Broadway out there who could sing the hell out of the role. Producers however are not interested in that. They are interested in having a name that everyone knows instead. Even if it means they aren't qualified or right for the role. Broadway Cares had a Funny Girl Benefit Concert where different Broadway Actresses sang the role throughout the night. There clearly is a huge roster of women who could do this role justice.

Melinda9
Melinda9

There's somebody out there who could do it, but I don't think they're necessarily interested in casting the best person.

rolph
rolph

Sounds like Leslie kKritzer came the closest. I remember Pia Zadora did it once  maybe in Long Beach. She got a not-=bad review!

Rob in Philly
Rob in Philly

Deborah Gibson made it to Green Bay, Wisoncsin, Leslie Kritzer made it to Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ.    Maybe it's a transit issue...

Bwaydan
Bwaydan

Maybe Streisand should just do it again.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

Yes, this will have to wait till Streisand and everyone of her & our generation dies...

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

This always sounded like a death wish project to me.

Sometime, some place, a talent will come along that just might be able to challenge Streisand in the role.

But some of these "No-Nose Nanettes" proposed seem laughable. 

Loading...