Funny Girl is scheduled to begin performances Jan. 15, 2012, at the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. On June 7, the creative team announced the launch of an online casting search for an actress to play the role of Fanny Brice, but said that it would not preclude them from seeking out established names to tackle the iconic role, which has become synonymous with original star Barbra Streisand.
E! reports that Ambrose is in negotiations to star as Vaudeville legend Brice. Ambrose made her Broadway debut in 2006 under Sher's direction in the revival of Clifford Odets' Depression-era play Awake and Sing! for Lincoln Center Theater. A spokesperson for the Center Theatre Group had no comment on Ambrose's involvement.
Though she is not known for her singing, Ambrose studied classical voice and fronts the band Lauren Ambrose and the Leisure Class. She has covered Brice's signature tune "My Man" during several gigs at Joe's Pub.
In a 2009 interview with the New Yorker, Ambrose hinted at her Broadway musical aspirations, saying, "I would love to, if it was the right thing. Unfortunately, they always want you to sign on for, like, twenty years. But mostly if it was just the right bit. I would love to do a musical. Something old-fashioned, probably."
Ambrose's stage credits also include Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet for the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park and the London production of Sam Shepard's Buried Child. She is well known for her role on "Six Feet Under." Funny Girl will begin rehearsals in New York this November. It will officially open Feb. 1, 2012, for a run through Feb. 26, 2012.
As previously reported by Playbill.com, Tony Award-winning producer Bob Boyett, who co-produced War Horse and South Pacific with LCT, holds the rights to Funny Girl, and in June 2010 announced plans for a Broadway revival of the musical with Tony Award-winning South Pacific director Sher attached.
A representative for CTG told Playbill.com that Boyett has given Center Theatre Group special permission to produce a developmental production at the Ahmanson, but the revival is not billed as a pre-Broadway engagement.
The Center Theatre Group production of Funny Girl reunites Sher with his Tony Award-winning creative team from the 2008 South Pacific Broadway revival. Funny Girl will have musical supervision by Kimberly Grigsby, choreography by Christopher Gattelli, set design by Michael Yeargan, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Donald Holder and sound design by Scott Lehrer.
Funny Girl features music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and a book by Isobel Lennart. "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade" are standouts from the score.