Funny Girl, originally a musical starring Barbara Streisand, will be performed in concert at the Opera House with a stellar ensemble cast of 11 including, Michala Banas, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Casey Donovan, Virginia Gay, Verity Hunt-Ballard, Dami Im, Maggie McKenna, Zahra Newman, Caroline O’Connor, Queenie van de Zandt and Megan Washington, each in turn playing the role of Fanny Brice, on whose life the musical is based. Colourful costumes of the 1920s, like those worn by Streisand, promise the audience a feast of old showbiz razzle-dazzle.
In securing such a lineup, director Mitchell Butel, has ensured a collection of truly powerful voices for this production, proving that the music and lyrics have stood the test of time. The fact that all 11 will be on stage for each of the three shows is an added bonus. Each star represents a different facet of Fanny Brice with unique interpretations of Bob Merrill’s lyrics and Jule Styne’s music.
“We’ve created a design for the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall that will feature a giant staircase down the centre of the stage dividing the orchestra into two sections. The staircase, as well as the front stage, will form the performance spaces for the cast of 28 people, who will feature in choreographed musical numbers.” said Mark Sutcliffe,director of Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
We are now in the age of women and the timing of this production couldn’t be more apt. With songs like Don’t Rain On My Parade and People in such capable hands the sky’s the limit. Also starring Trevor Ashley and Nancye Hayes as MrsBrice alongside Don Hany as Nick Arnstein.
Until Jul 14. Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney. $71-$149+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.sydneyoperahouse.com
By Renee Dallow