April 13: Streisand brings Funny Fanny to the West End

Funny_Girl-19661966: Funny Girl is a 1963 musical, which opened on Broadway in 1964, with a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill. The semi-biographical plot is based on the life and career of Broadway star, film actress and comedian Fanny Brice featuring her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein. Its original title was My Man.

The musical was produced by Ray Stark, who was Brice’s son-in-law via his marriage to her daughter Frances, and starred Barbra Streisand. The production was nominated for eight Tony Awards but, facing tough competition from Hello, Dolly!, it failed to win in any categories.

Stage-04-13-1966

Streisand reprised her role in the West End production at the Prince of Wales Theatre on this day in 1966, directed by Lawrence Kasha. When Streisand became pregnant and had to drop out of the show, her understudy, Lisa Shane, wife of The Italian Job director Peter Collinson, took over, and continued to perform until the show closed.

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