Funny Girl is the classic musical about entertainer Fanny Brice, a show that’s never been revived on Broadway because Barbra Streisand was so indelible in the role, you’d have to be an absolute looney-tune to even go near it.
And the movie captures her performance for all time, a constant reminder of the perfect synthesis between star and material, the kind of chemistry that can’t be replicated even by black magic.
But they’re doing it again! As you know, very brave people have decided that a revival of Funny Girl is coming to Broadway next year.
And they’ve lined up a director (Bartlett Sher) and some other strong-willed folks ready to tackle this challenge. But guess what they haven’t lined up? A star!
Lord knows they have to get someone who’s a force of nature, especially since every note out of her mouth will be compared to La Babs.
I want someone extra brilliant so as not to add insult to injury to poor Barbra, who just had her Gypsy movie plan canceled.
So who should it be?
Lea Michele is the obvious choice, but she’s busy with TV and besides, she’s not right, I swear it.
The talented Idina Menzel might not be the right age, but she’d be my top choice out of all the known entities out there.
Of course, if an un-known entity comes around with the right pipes, chops, comic flair, charisma, and individuality, then give her the part — and the Pulitzer Prize.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 14, 2011