Bartlett Sher Shocked by Funny Girl Postponement; Lauren Ambrose "Heartbroken"

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
07 Nov 2011

Lauren Ambrose
Lauren Ambrose
Photo by Sam Handel

The loss of four investors, who had each pledged at least $750,000 toward the revival of Funny Girl, caused lead producer Bob Boyett to cancel the Broadway-bound revival, according to The New York Times.

Boyett told the New York daily, "I just kept hearing from other producers, and then from my investors, that the timing was wrong and that the economic landscape wasn’t right to try to do a top-level revival of Funny Girl... I think we could have turned a profit in a year on Broadway, but there were just no guarantees that the tourists and others would flock to the show in the numbers we needed."

Tony winner Bartlett Sher was scheduled to direct the $12 million production, which was to star Lauren Ambrose in the role of Fanny Brice. Sher told the Times that he was "in a state of shock" upon hearing that the musical had been postponed. The director also said that his star, Ambrose, tackling the role made famous by Barbra Streisand, was "heartbroken, like the rest of us."

Sher added that "investors might have had concerns about any actress we picked given that Barbra Streisand was extraordinary as Fanny...[ However], I think Lauren would have given a performance that would have long been remembered."

Funny Girl, starring two-time Emmy Award nominee Ambrose as Fanny Brice and two-time Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Bobby Cannavale as Nick Arnstein, was scheduled to open at Broadway's Imperial in April 2012 following its engagement at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, which was scheduled for Jan. 15-Feb. 26, 2012.

Funny Girl features music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart.