It's official—Lauren Ambrose will star in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl!
As I exclusively told you on Monday, the Six Feet Under star has been in negotiations to headline the musical as Fanny Brice, the role that made a young Barbra Streisand a star.
What does Ambrose have to say about belting out classics like "People," "Don't Rain On My Parade" and "My Man"? Read on to find out...
"Let's face it, there is obviously more than a lot to live up to playing Fanny Brice, but I am humbled and thrilled by the opportunity to be a part of this revival," Ambrose, a trained opera singer who fronts her own band, said in a statement. "The character is complex, the music beautiful and challenging. I can't wait to get into that rehearsal room with the team [that director Bartlett Sher] is assembling—wish we could start tomorrow."
As soon as news hit that a revival was in the works, Glee star Lea Michele appeared to have been the top candidate. But, hey that gal's booked with her hit TV show and working on launching a movie career.
"It's important that people not see this casting as trying to find the next Barbra Streisand. She is one of a kind," Sher said. "Instead, I really needed someone with whom I could explore the original musical and come to terms with Fanny Brice for a new era." The show will play the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles for five weeks starting Jan. 15 before opening on Broadway in the spring.
Streisand reprised the role for a movie adaptation in 1968. At that year's Academy Awards, she won for best actress in a tie with Katherine Hepburn for her work in The Lion in Winter.
A YouTube clip of Ambrose singing a ragtime-inspired rendition of "My Man" with her band, Lauren Ambrose and The Leisure Class," at Joe's Pub in NYC had more than 12,000 hits as of this morning. You can check it out here.
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