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Funny Girl at Kennedy Center

Like the brightest star, Katerina McCrimmon is luminescent.

Funny Girl is based on an original story by Isobel Lennart. It is the semi-autobiographical tale of Fanny Brice's meteoric rise to fame and her stormy relationship with Nick Arnstein, a wealthy and charming gambler. From her start as a gawky Brooklyn teen fast-talking her way into show business to becoming the toast of New York to the unraveling of her personal life, Funny Girl is a stunning, richly told tour de force about one of Broadway's biggest stars. The endearing, poignant musical features a parade of great tunes including "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade". 

Funny Girl first opened on Broadway in 1964 with Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice, and Sydney Chaplin, as Nick Arnstein Most people will remember it from the 1968 movie when Streisand reprised her role as Fanny (and won her first Academy Award), and the role of Nick Arnstein was taken over by Omar Sharif. They were really sizzling together.

 Katerina McCrimmon  (photo by courtesy Kennedy Center -Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade
Izaiah Montaque Harris  Photo courtesy Kennedy Center- Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade 

The music is by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill, and a revised book by Harvey Fierstein. This production is directed by Michael Mayer. The star is Katerina McCrimmon as (Fanny Brice) with Stephen Mark Lukas as (Nick Arnstein). They don’t have the sizzle that Streisand and Sharif had, but then it would be hard to find two people who would. But then with Katerina McCrimmon as Fanny, who really cares. There are not enough superlatives to describe her voice. She is luminescent every time she takes the stage, from the opening number, ‘Who are you now’ to the ‘Finale.’ It may be sad to say, but much of the rest of the cast all but disappear. The are all talented in their own right but the focus is always on McCrimmon. Those who manage to hold their own with their immense talent include Izaiah Montaque Harris as (Eddie Ryan), an amazing tap dancer, and singer, and the very talented Melissa Manchester as (Mrs. Brice).

The creative team who makes this production so good include: choreography by Ellenore Scott; tap choreography by Ayodele Casel; scenic design by David Zinn; costume design by Susan Hilferty; lighting design by Kevin Adams; sound design by Tony Brian Ronan and Cody Spencer; hair and wig design by Campbell Young Associates; and music supervision Michael Rafter. Then there is Music Director/Conductor Elaine Davidson and a wonderful orchestra. 

This is a limited engagement at the Kennedy Center Opera House, from June 25 to July 14, 2024. Tickets are available here. You will regret it if you don’t see it!