Based on the life and career of the Broadway star, film actress and comedienne Fanny Brice.
The original production was staged in Broadway in 1964 with the role of Fanny Brice played by Barbra Streisand, who also starred in the film adaptation released in 1968. A new production opened at The Savoy Theatre, London in April 2016 and has Sheridan Smith taking on the leading role.
Act I FUNNY GIRL
Fanny is a stage-struck teen who gets her first job in vaudeville. Her mother and her friend Mrs. Strakosh try to dissuade her from show business because Fanny is not the typical beauty (“If a Girl Isn’t Pretty”). But Fanny perseveres (“I’m the Greatest Star”) and is helped and encouraged by Eddie Ryan, a dancer she meets in the vaudeville shows. Once Fanny’s career takes off, Eddie and Miss. Brice lament that once she’s on Broadway she’ll forget about them (“Who Taught Her Everything?”). Fanny performs a supposedly romantic number in the Follies, but she turns it into a classic comic rou
tine, ending the number as a pregnant bride (“His Love Makes Me Beautiful”).
She meets the sophisticated and handsome Nick Arnstein, who accompanies Fanny to her mother’s opening night party on “Henry Street”. Fanny is clearly falling in love with Nick, while acknowledging their complex vulnerabilities (“People”). Later they meet in Baltimore and have a private dinner at a swanky restaurant and declare their feelings (“You Are Woman”). Fanny is determined to marry Nick, regardless of his gambling past (“Don’t Rain on My Parade”).
Act II FUNNY GIRL
They do marry and move to a mansion on Long Island (“Sadie, Sadie”). In the meantime, Mrs. Strakosh and Eddie propose to Miss. Brice that she should find a man to marry, now that her daughter is supporting her (“Find Yourself a Ma
n”). Fanny has become a major star with the Ziegfeld Follies (“Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat”). Nick asks Ziegfeld to invest in a gambling casino, but although Ziegfeld passes, Fanny insists on investing. When the venture fails and they lose their money, Fanny tries to make light of it, which propels Nick to get involved in a shady bond deal, resulting in his arrest for embezzlement. Fanny feels helpless but stronger than ever in her love for him (“The Music That Makes Me Dance”).
In the present, Fanny is waiting for Nick to arrive and has time to reflect on her situation. Nick arrives, newly released from prison, and he and Fanny decide to separate. She is heartbroken, but resolves to pick up her life again (“Don’t Rain on My Parade, Reprise”).
SONGS FUNNY GIRL
“Overture” – Orchestra
“If a Girl Isn’t Pretty” – Mrs. Strakosh, Mrs. Brice, Eddie Ryan and People
“I’m the Greatest Star” – Fanny Brice
“Cornet Man” – Fanny Brice, Snub Taylor and Keeney Chorus
“Who Taught Her Everything?” – Mrs. Brice and Eddie Ryan
“His Love Makes Me Beautiful” – Ziegfeld Tenor, Ziegfeld Girls and Fanny Brice
“I Want to Be Seen With You Tonight” – Nick Arnstein and Fanny Brice
“Henry Street” – Henry Street Neighbors
“People” – Fanny Brice
“You Are Woman” – Nick Arnstein and Fanny Brice
“Don’t Rain on My Parade” – Fanny Brice
“Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady” – Fanny Brice and Friends
“Find Yourself a Man” – Mrs. Strakosh, Mrs. Brice and Eddie Ryan
“Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat” –Ziegfeld Company and Fanny Brice