So if you are resurrecting ‘Funny Girl’ for the stage wouldn’t it just make sense to cast Barbra Streisand’s modern day equivalent — Lea Michelle — for the role? While the stage actress might be beside herself at the thought of taking on the legendary role, alas her ‘Glee’ filming schedule has put the kibosh on the dream matchup. So where are the show’s producers supposed to turn to fill the shoes of Fanny Brice?
It seems Lauren Ambrose of ‘Six Feet Under’ fame has wooed them with her red locks and golden pipes. Didn’t know the sister of the crypt keepers could sing? She is a trained opera singer not to mention chanteuse of her own jazz band, Lauren Ambrose and the Leisure Class. Ambrose’s Broadway experience comes in the revival of ‘Awake and Sing!’ in 2006 where she worked with ‘Funny Girl’ director Bartlett Sher. Ambrose is currently starring in the television series ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’ on Starz.
‘Funny Girl’ will be making its return on LA’s Ahmanson Theatre stage with a limited run from January 15 through February 26, 2012. It is almost an afterthought at this point that it will be making the jump to Broadway, but producers say that is still contingent on demand and how the new production is received in Los Angeles.
The original ‘Funny Girl’ production in 1964 is credited with putting Streisand on the map. The production was nominated for eight Tony Awards, but ran head long into the impenetrable ‘Hello Dolly’ which effectively shut it out of the awards ceremony. Streisand also stared in the Hollywood film adaptation released in 1968. She won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the film.