The Production Company (TPC) has announced the full cast for Funny Girl to be presented at Arts Centre Melbourne from 23 July 2016. With a new production on London’s West End and a planned Broadway season, this is the perfect time for Melbourne to enjoy a new staging of this classic Broadway musical.
Featuring a cast of thirty and an orchestra of twenty-seven, Caroline O’Connor plays Fanny Brice, one of the great stars of Broadway’s Ziegfeld Follies. A hundred years on from that golden era, musical theatre is enjoying unprecedented popularity both on Broadway and here in Melbourne.
Last week in the United States, Caroline opened in the new Broadway-bound musical, Anastasia (her third Broadway show) with Variety describing her performance of Lily as ‘marvelous’. David Hobson, makes his TPC debut as the handsome and debonair gambler, Nick Arnstein.
Australian theatre legend, Nancye Hayes, is Mrs. Brice. Returning from Los Angeles is David Ross Paterson to play the role of the great Florenz Ziegfeld. Joining this stellar lineup are Greg Stone (Tom Keeney), Susan-ann Walker (Mrs Strakosh), Luke Alleva (Eddie Ryan) and Judith Roberts (Mrs Meeker).
The ensemble will feature Blake Appelqvist, Andrea Arena, Daniel Assetta, Amy Berrisford, Jared Bryan, Sage Douglas, Danielle Evrat, Ashleigh Hauschild, Sam Hooper, Laura Inglesi, Sophia Katos, Kiara Kieser, Adam Noviello, Cassie O’brien, Max Patterson, John Reed, Callum Sandercock, Priscilla Stavrou, Suzanne Steele and Brooke Synnott.
Award winning Director, Gale Edwards leads an outstanding creative team. Musical Director, Anthony Gabriele returns from London’s West End following seasons of The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and Cats. Kelley Abbey choreographs, with designs by Tim Chappel and Owen Phillips (costumes), Shaun Gurton (sets), Trudy Dalgleish (lighting), and System Sound.
With a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill, the incredible score includes the unforgettable hits, Don’t Rain On My Parade, People, You Are Woman, and I’m The Greatest Star.
Funny Girl premiered on Broadway in March 1964 at the Winter Garden Theatre, featuring Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice. It later transferred to the Majestic Theatre and The Broadway Theatre, closing in 1967. The original production was nominated for eight Tony Awards and the cast recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004. A film adaptation of the musical was released in 1968 starring Streisand alongside Omar Sharif. Streisand won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as well as the Golden Globe.
Image: Caroline O’Connor, David Hobson and Nancye Hayes to star in Funny Girl (supplied)