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Full Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  3f, 3m

Music by Jule Styne / Lyrics by Bob Merrill / Book by Isobel Lennart from an original story by Miss Lennart / Produced for the Broadway Stage by Ray Stark / New York Production Supervised by Jerome Robbins / Original Production Directed by Garson Kanin

She's the greatest star! With humor, talent, and chutzpah, Fanny Brice, an awkward Jewish girl who "isn't pretty," defies the odds and becomes a superstar of vaudeville, radio, and Hollywood.
Funny Girl
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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3f, 3m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Biography, Period
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
Accolades
Accolades
  • Nominee: Eight 1964 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Composer & Lyricist
    Nominee: Eight 1969 Academy Awards, including Best Music
    Winner! 1969 Academy Award, Best Actress (Barbara Streisand)
    Nominee: Two 2017 Olivier Awards, including Best Musical Revival
Description
In the Ziegfeld Follies, in Hollywood films, and on the radio, Fanny Brice was one of the most celebrated entertainers of her time. With humor, talent, and chutzpah, young Fanny, an awkward Jewish girl who "isn't pretty," defies the odds and becomes one of the greatest stars of her generation. Fanny's rise to super-stardom and her turbulent romance with gambler Nick Arnstein are explored through Bob Merrill and Jule Styne's unforgettable score, which includes "People," "Don't Rain On My Parade," "I'm the Greatest Star," "The Music That Makes Me Dance," and "You Are Woman, I Am Man."

 
History
Funny Girl opened on Broadway on March 26, 1964 and played for 1,348 performances at the Winter Garden, Majestic, and Broadway Theatres. The original cast featured Barbra Streisand, Sydney Chaplin, Kay Medford and Jean Stapleton. A new London production opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory on December 2, 2015, starring Sheridan Smith as Fanny. The production transferred to London's Savoy Theatre in the West End, opening on April 9, 2016.

Act I

Backstage in her dressing room at the New Amsterdam Theatre, where she is a reigning Ziegfeld star, Fanny Brice sits thoughtfully at her dressing table. Her husband, Nick Arnstein, will soon come home after serving a prison sentence, and she must make a decision about their future. As she ponders her decision, the sights and sounds of her past come back to her.

On New York City's Lower East Side, adolescent Fanny is awkward and unattractive, but fiercely determined to be a star. Her mother and a neighbor try to dissuade her from entering show business ("If A Girl Isn't Pretty") but Fanny persists and overwhelms a vaudeville hoofer with her unshakable self-confidence ("I'm The Greatest Star"). The dancer, Eddie Ryan, coaches her in singing and dancing, and soon she is wowing vaudeville audiences ("Cornet Man"). Mrs. Brice and Eddie take credit for Fanny's success ("Who Taught Her Everything?")

Nick Arnstein, an elegant and well-dressed gentleman, visits Fanny's dressing room after the show. Though she is clearly attracted to him, Fanny is interrupted by a telegram from producer Flo Ziegfeld, who offers her a spot in his current Follies. Fanny is a hit in her first Ziegfeld appearance ("His Love Makes Me Beautiful"). Nick offers to celebrate with Fanny in style ("I Want To Be Seen With You Tonight"), but they wind up at Mrs. Brice's opening-night block party instead ("Henry Street"). At the party, Nick and Fanny share their desires and vulnerabilities ("People").

Some months later, in Baltimore, Nick invites Fanny to a private dinner at an exclusive restaurant ("You Are Woman") and Fanny is smitten. At the railroad station where the Follies company plans to board a train for Chicago, Fanny decides to leave the company and join Nick on a train bound for New York. Seeing a chance for true happiness, she refuses to let anything stand in her way ("Don't Rain on My Parade").

Act II

Fanny and Nick get married and move into a mansion on Long Island ("Sadie, Sadie"). Now that Fanny is independent, Mrs. Strakosh and Eddie tell Mrs. Brice to "Find Yourself A Man." During rehearsals of a new Follies ("Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat"), Nick approaches Ziegfeld backstage about investing money in a Florida gambling casino. Ziegfeld declines, but Fanny insists on putting up the necessary capital. When Nick's casino venture fails, Fanny tries to treat the bad news lightly ("Who Are You Now?"), but Nick becomes incensed. Out of desperation, he gets involved in a shady bond deal, and is soon arrested for embezzlement. Fanny, feeling helpless, nonetheless affirms her love for Nick ("The Music That Makes Me Dance").

Back in Fanny's dressing room, in the present, Nick enters. Nick and Fanny still love each other deeply, but they realize their marriage can only bring them unhappiness. Reluctantly, they part. Alone once again, Fanny courageously resolves to get on with her life ("Don't Rain On My Parade - Reprise").

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Church / Religious Groups
  • Youth/Camp Programs

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: 1920s, 1910s / WWI
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Setting:

Shortly before and after World War I. Various theatres, onstage and backstage, on New York's lower East Side, in Baltimore, and on Long Island.

Casting

3f, 3m
Cast Attributes
  • Expandable casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Principals

(3 female; 3 male)

Fanny Brice
Nick Arnstein
Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.
Mrs. Brice
Mrs. Strakosh
Eddie Ryan

Supporting

Ziegfeld Tenor
Jenny

Speaking Roles
(In order of appearance)

John, Stage Manager
Emma
Mrs. Meeker
Mrs. O’Malley
Tom Keeney
Heckie
Workmen
Snub Taylor
Trombone Smitty
Five Finger Finney
Trumpet Soloist
Bubbles
Polly
Maude
Two Showgirls
Stage Director
Mimsey
Jody, Ziegfeld Lead Dancer
Adolph
Mrs. Nadler
Paul
Cathy
Vera
Ben
Mr. Renaldi

Ensemble

Showgirls, Singers, Dancers

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements: Moderate
  • Vocal Demands: Difficult
  • Orchestra Size: Large
  • Chorus Size: Large

Act I

1. Overture – Orchestra
2. Opening Act One – Orchestra
3. “Poker Chant No. 1” – Mrs. Brice & Mrs. Strakosh
4. “If A Girl Isn't Pretty” – Mrs. Strakosh, Brice, Meeker, & O’Malley
5. “I’m The Greatest Star” – Fanny
5a. Scene Change – Orchestra
5b. Reprise: “I’m the Greatest Star” – Fanny
6. Eddie’s Fifth Encore – Eddie (Whistles)
6a. Chaser – Orchestra
7. “Cornet Man” – Fanny & Chorus
7a. Cornet Man Chaser – Orchestra
8. “Nicky Arnstein (No. 1)” – Fanny
9. Scene Change – Orchestra
10. “Who Taught Her Everything?” – Eddie & Mrs. Brice
10a. Scene Change – Orchestra
10b. End of Scene 8 – Orchestra
11. “His Love Makes Me Beautiful” – Tenor Solo, Chorus, & Fanny
11a. Scene Change – Orchestra
12. “I Want To Be Seen with You Tonight” – Nick & Fanny
13. “Nicky Arnstein (No. 2)” – Fanny
14. “Henry Street” – Chorus
14a. Music Under Dialogue – Orchestra
15. “People” – Fanny
15a. “Poker Chant (No.2)” – Mrs. Brice & Mrs. Strakosh
16. End of Scene 12 – Orchestra
17. Incidental – Orchestra
18. “You are Woman, I am Man” – Nick & Fanny
18a. Scene Change – Orchestra
19. “Don’t Rain On My Parade” – Fanny

Act II

20. Entr’acte – Orchestra
21. “Sadie, Sadie” – Fanny & Chorus
21a. Scene change – Orchestra
22. “Find Yourself A Man” – Eddie, Mrs. Brice, & Mrs. Strakosh
22a. Scene Change – Orchestra
23. “Hat-Tat-Tat-Tat” – Fanny, Jenny, & Chorus
23a. “Hat-Tat-Tat-Tat (Part 2)” – Fanny, Jenny, & Chorus
23b. Scene Change – Orchestra
24. “Who Are You Now” – Fanny
24a. Scene Change – Orchestra
25. “Don’t Rain On My Parade” – Nick
26. Opening Scene 7 – Orchestra
27. “The Music That Makes Me Dance” – Fanny
27a. Scene Change – Orchestra
28. Incidental: Underscore – Orchestra
29. Finale Act Two – Fanny
30. Curtain and Exit Music – Orchestra

Full Orchestration

Violins
Cello
Bass

Reed 1: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone(and optional Alto Flute)
Reed 2: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone (and optional Flute, Piccolo & Soprano Sax)
Reed 3: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone (and optional Eb Clarinet)
Reed 4: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone (and optional Oboe)
Reed 5: Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, Bassoon (or Bass Clarinet) & Bass Saxophone (or Baritone Saxophone)

Horn
Trumpet 1 & 2
Trumpet 3
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Trombone 3

Percussion 1 & 2:

Timpani (2 Drums)
Bass Drum
Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Field Drum
Tom Tom
Bongo Drums
Cymbals:
Hand
Hi-Hat
Suspended
Choke
Sock
Finger
Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Vibraphone
Chimes
Wood Block
Temple Blocks
Cow Bell
Tambourine
Slapsticks (small & large)
Triangle
Slide Whistle
Drill Whistle
Siren
Ratchet

Piano/Celeste (played from cues in Piano-Conductor Score, sent with rehearsal material)
Guitar/Banjo

Materials

Scripts

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
1 Piano/Conductor Score
35 Libretto/Vocal Books
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
1 Reed 4
1 Reed 5
1 Horn
2 Trumpet 1&2
1 Trumpet 3
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
1 Trombone 3
2 Percussion 1&2
1 Piano/Celeste
1 Guitar
3 Violins
2 Cello
1 Bass

Piano Only:
1 Piano/Conductor
35 Libretto/Vocal book

Additional Resources And Services Available

Media

Press

"This show has one of the finest scores of songs in the lexicon of American musicals." - J. Peter Bergman, The Berkshire Edge

"An eminently hummable score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill" - Ben Brantley, The New York Times

"It's the authentic aura of show business arising out of Fanny Brice's luminous career that lights up Funny Girl. - Howard Taubman, The New York Times

"Stunning...dazzles from start to finish...it’s easy to see its allure; Jule Styne and Bob Merill’s music and lyrics and Isobel Lennart’s award-winning book...still standing up all these years on." - Paul Heath, The Hollywood News

"A joyous romp through New York's golden years...this story feels so young and vital it could have been made yesterday." - Natalie Salvo, The AU Review

"Funny Girl, the original 1964 Broadway musical, is a real stage animal, revisiting a classic era of American theatre. Most of its scenes are about theatre life and are set backstage or onstage, which means a live version is far more effective than the famous film." - Neal Newman, DC Metro Theater Arts

Music Samples

Videos

  • Funny Girl - Christina Bianco, Théâtre Marigny 2019

  • Funny Girl - Shoshana Bean at North Shore Music Theatre

  • Funny Girl Trailer - Sheridan Smith 2018

  • "Don't Rain on My Parade" clip - Sheridan Smith

  • "People" - Barbra Streisand

  • "I'm The Greatest Star" - Sutton Foster in Concert

More videos +

More

Authors

Jule Styne

Jule Styne (1905-1994) made Broadway sing for 50 years with shows including High Button Shoes; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Hazel Flagg; Gypsy; Peter Pan; Bells Are Ringing; Do Re Mi; Subways Are For Sleeping; Funny Girl; Fade Out-Fade In; Hallelujah, Baby!; The Red Shoes; and Darling of the Day. His ...

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Bob Merrill

Bob Merrill (May 17, 1921 - February 18, 1998) was an American songwriter, theatrical composer, lyricist and screenwriter. He was the second most successful songwriter of the 1950s on the UK Singles Chart, with hits such as How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?, Mambo Italiano and Honeycomb. Longing to write more prof ...

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Isobel Lennart

Isobel Lennart was born Isobel Fredrika Hochdorf on May 8, 1915, in Brooklyn. Her father was a dentist working out of their home on Crescent Street. Her mother, Victoria Lennart Livingston, died when Isobel was five years old. Her father later married his cousin, Hattie Satz. Afflicted by polio as a girl and in leg ...

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