At the curtain call for the November 16 evening performance of Broadway's Funny Girl, Lea Michele (Spring Awakening, Les Misérables) announced that the Broadway cast album for the show is coming. Fans cheered in the August Wilson Theatre as the show's current Fanny Brice teased, "We have a little bit of a secret that we wanted to let you all in on."
Then Michele unveiled the anticipated news: "We are all so, so, so proud to announce that we are going to be releasing our original cast Broadway album for Funny Girl." She also spoke about the work that has gone into the show and the studio to produce the album, alluding to the fact that the album has already been recorded.
Michele also announced that more details on the album, such as a release date, will be unveiled soon. Funny Girl fans can watch tomorrow morning's Today Show for details. Check back at Playbill for updates. See Michele's announcement below.
The Funny Girl revival began previews March 26 and has been open since April 24 at the August Wilson Theatre. Beanie Feldstein originated the leading role of Fanny Brice with Jane Lynch as Mrs. Brice.
Michele joined the cast as Fanny September 6 alongside Tovah Feldshuh (Pippin, Irena's Vow) who stepped into the role of Mrs. Brice the same day. The role has long been a dream of the Glee star (and self-described worshipper of Barbra Streisand). Michele took over the role from standby Julie Benko who played Fanny following the early departure of Beanie Feldstein July 31. Since Michele's arrival, the production has made changes, including updated and expanded choreography, and the first inclusion of the Brice song “I’d Rather Be Blue Over You" into the stage musical.
Funny Girl, which premiered on Broadway in 1964, features a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill and a book by Isobel Lennart. Tony winner Harvey Fierstein revised the book for this revival. The original production propelled a young Streisand to international fame; she reprised her stage performance in the 1968 film adaptation, winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in the process. The bio-musical tracks real-life singer and comic Fanny Brice from her humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York, to fame and fortune onstage in the Ziegfeld Follies and as a radio and screen performer.
Also starring in the production are Ramin Karimloo as Nick Arnstein, 2022 Tony nominee Jared Grimes as Eddie Ryan, Peter Francis James as Florenz Ziegfeld, Ephie Aardema as Mrs. Nadler, Debra Cardona as Mrs. Meeker, Toni DiBuono as Mrs. Strakosh, and Martin Moran as Tom Keeney.
The ensemble features Amber Ardolino, Daniel Beeman, Kurt Csolak, Leslie Donna Flesner, Afra Hines, Masumi Iwai, Aliah James, Stephen Mark Lukas, John Thomas Manzari, Katie Mitchell, Justin Prescott, Mariah Reives, and Leslie Blake Walker. Rounding out the company are standbys Liz McCartney and Jeremiah James and swings Colin Bradbury, John Michael Fiumara, Danielle Kelsey, and Alicia Lundgren.
The production is directed by Michael Mayer with choreography by Ellenore Scott, tap choreography by Ayodele Casel, music supervision and direction by Michael Rafter, scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kevin Adams, sound design by Brian Ronan, and hair design by Campbell Young Associates. Casting is by Jim Carnahan and Jason Thinger. The production also includes orchestrations by Chris Walker; dance, vocal, and incidental music arrangements by Alan Williams; additional arrangements by Carmel Dean and David Dabbon; music coordination by Seymour Red Press and Kimberlee Wertz; and vocal supervision by Liz Caplan.