Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre present a brand new Fugard Theatre production of Funny Girl – The Musical. This international smash hit, semi-biographical musical, based on the life and career of Broadway star, film actress and comedienne Fanny Brice features some of the most iconic songs in film and theatre history, including “People” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade”. This musical classic tells the fascinating and bitter-sweet story of Fanny Brice whose vocal talents and comedic ability see her rise from a Brooklyn music hall singer to Broadway star, and her tempestuous relationship with gambler Nick Arnstein.
A stellar all-South African cast has been secured for this iconic production that first opened on Broadway on the 26th March 1964 at the Winter Garden Theatre and enjoyed a recent sold-out revival season on the West End at the Savoy Theatre. The original book was written by Isobel Lennart, music composed by Jule Styne and lyrics written by Bob Merrill.
Taking the lead role in this much anticipated production will be Naledi nominee Ashleigh Harvey (Death of a Colonialist, Bash) an actor, singer, voice over artist, producer and writer whose work has taken her into Africa and all over the world. Ms. Harvey’s leading man is Clyde Berning (The Great Gatsby, Hamlet, Strangers on a Train) as Nick Arnstein. Kate Normington (Sister Act, Mamma Mia!) plays Mrs Brice, Diane Wilson (Shirley Valentine, Grace and Glorie) plays Mrs Strakosh, Michèle Maxwell (Cabaret, Death of a Salesman) plays Mrs Meeker, Mike Huff (Cabaret, Singin’ in the Rain) plays Florenz Ziegfeld, Cameron Botha (West Side Story, Sweeney Todd) plays Eddie Ryan, Grant Towers (The Sound of Music) plays Tom Keeney and Lucy Tops (The Rocky Horror Show) plays Emma. Sven-Eric Müller (West Side Story), LJ Neilson (West Side Story), Jenna Robinson-Child (Cabaret), Ambre Chanel Fulton (Singin’ in the Rain), Michèle la Trobe (West Side Story) Sibusiso Mxosana (West Side Story), Daniel Fisher (Queen of the Ballet), Tamryn van Houten (West Side Story) and Tyla Nurden making her professional debut, complete the outstanding line up.
The Fugard Theatre’s production will be directed by Matthew Wild with Musical Direction by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and Choreography by Louisa Talbot – bringing the same creative team together again who created the Fugard Theatre’s smash hits The Rocky Horror Show, Cabaret and West Side Story. Set design is by Saul Radomsky, and costumes by Birrie Le Roux. Lighting is by Daniel Galloway and Benjamin du Plessis.
Funny Girl – The Musical was arguably Barbra Streisand’s big break through when she played the lead role in the original production. The same production was nominated for eight Tony Awards and the cast recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004. A film adaptation of the musical was released in 1968 starring Streisand (who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as well as the Golden Globe) alongside Omar Sharif.