The West End transfer of Funny Girl, receives its first preview tomorrow night, 9 April 2016 – with opening night on 20 April, at the Savoy Theatre. Michael Mayer directs Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice, Darius Campbell as Nicky Arnstein, Marilyn Cutts as Mrs Brice, Maurice Lane as Mr Keeney, Valda Aviks as Mrs Meeker, Gay Soper as Mrs Strakosh, Natasha J Barnes as Emma/Mrs Nadler, Bruce Montague as Florenz Ziegfeld, and Joel Montague as Eddie Ryan.
The full cast is completed by Philip Bertioli (Cornet Man/Tenor Soloist/ Ensemble), Emma Caffrey (Bubbles/Ensemble), Joelle Dyson (Ensemble), Rebecca Fennelly (Polly/Ensemble), Luke Fetherston (John/Cornet Man/Ensemble), Matthew Goodgame (Director/Renaldi /Paul/Ensemble), Leah Harris (Ensemble), Kelly Homewood (Vera/Ensemble), Sammy Kelly (Mimsey/Ensemble) and Sanchia Amber Clarke, Lucinda Collins, Sam Murphy, Tom Murphy, Clare Rickard, and Oliver Tester. The production runs until 8 October 2016.
With music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart, the Broadway smash which skyrocketed Barbra Streisand to stardom, is revived with book revisions by Harvey Fierstein. Sheridan Smith plays Fanny Brice, who rose from being a Brooklyn music hall singer to become one of Broadway’s biggest stars under producer Florenz Ziegfeld. While she was cheered onstage as a great comedienne, offstage she faced a doomed relationship with the man she loved. The score features now-classic songs such as “People”, “You Are Woman, I Am Man”, “I’m the Greatest Star” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade”. This critically acclaimed production opened last December at the Menier Chocolate Factory where it sold out in record time.
Director Michael Mayer’s West End credits include Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith and Novello Theatre) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Shaftesbury Theatre). For Broadway his work includes Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony Award nomination for Best Director), On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, American Idiot (Drama Desk Award for Best Director of a Musical), Spring Awakening (Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Drama Desk Award for Best Direction of a Musical) and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical). For television, his work includes Smash and Alpha House, and for film his credits include A Home at the End of the World, Flicka and currently in post-production, Chekhov’s The Seagull. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut with a celebrated new production of Rigoletto.
Choreography is by Lynne Page, with set design by Michael Pavelka, costume design by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Mark Henderson and sound design by Richard Brooker, musical supervisor and arrangements by Alan Williams and orchestrations by Chris Walker.
Photo: Marc Brenner