Several more of Broadway's leading ladies have lined up for the Sept. 23 one night-only concert version of Funny Girl to benefit the Actors' Fund of America.
The Jule Styne-Bob Merrill-Isobel Lennart musical, which celebrated the life of the late Fanny Brice, made a star of Barbra Streisand, who would reprise her role on film to Oscar-winning effect. The Actors' Fund concert will feature a host of Broadway actresses portraying Fanny Brice, including Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Ana Gasteyer, Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald, Megan Mullally, Donna Murphy and Lillias White with more names to come.
A spokesperson for the Actors' Fund said that several other big names are pending; no word yet as to whether Streisand or Mimi Hines — who replaced Streisand when she left the Broadway production — will make appearances. The evening is being organized by Artistic Producer Seth Rudetsky, who was responsible for the stellar, sold-out Dreamgirls in Concert benefit earlier in the season. That evening starring Lillias White, McDonald and Heather Headley was recorded live and recently released on CD. Already lined up for the Funny Girl concert are choreographers Dev Janki and Robert Tadad and director Peter Flynn.
The concert will be held at the New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street, and tickets — ranging in price from $75 to $2,500 — are now on sale by calling (212) 221-7300, ext. 133.
Funny Girl opened at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre on March 26, 1964. Its Jule Styne-Bob Merrill score includes such tunes as "Sadie, Sadie," "Don't Rain on My Parade," "I'm the Greatest Star," "The Music That Makes Me Dance," "Who Are You Now?" and the show's anthem, "People." The Actors' Fund of America, a nonprofit organization founded in 1882, provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals. Its headquarters and The Aurora Residence are located in New York City, and its nursing home and assisted living care facility are in Englewood, New Jersey.
—By Andrew Gans