The lamps of the theatre slowly go off to give way to a wonderful ball of lights, dancing to the jazzy overture of Funny Girl, which has soon invaded the stalls, and the dress and grand circles. The curtain rises and here she is, the star of the Savoy Theatre that night, and the forever star of Broadway, looking through her mirror and suddenly saying: “Hello Gorgeous!”.
Fanny Brice, embodied by talented and characterful Sheridan Smith, has made her entrance.
Not only is Funny Girl the story of a funny girl, but it also and above all is the story of a strong, ambitious, somehow quirky and big-hearted character and rising star.
Known as Barbra Streisand’s big break through her lead role in the original production, the musical is semi-biographical, based on the life and career of Broadway star, film actress and comedian Fanny Brice, featuring her fiery relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein.
Emotional, witty, funny, sparkling, and Broadway-tinted, Funny Girl is the musical that gives meaning to the genre.
Everything – from the costumes and the decor to the songs and the choreographies – had something a little too magical and a little too beautiful to be real. After all, what else is theatre here for, if not to make an audience believe in a prettier reality?
Some of the most impressive and majestic songs include I’m the greatest star, People, and Don’t rain on my parade interpreted by Sheridan Smith along with charismatic Darius Campbell in the role of Nick Arnstein.
Fanny Brice’s energetic mother (Marilyn Cutts) and her first ever mentor and best friend Eddie Ryan (Joel Montague) are also not to forget as they give an equally mind-blowing performance as both main characters.
© Photographs by Johan Persson / Funny Girl London
* * *
* London Cast Recording *