Broadway Fort Lauderdale brings us the most talked about show on Broadway, “Funny Girl,” and there’s a reason there’s so much buzz about this revival, and it’s not just the Broadway cast.
Harvey Fierstein’s new book streamlines the action and new technology allows one scene to flow into the next in an almost cinematic fashion. Still erasing the image of Barbra Streisand playing the role, whether you were lucky enough to see it on stage or only know it from the film version, is a difficult task. Lea Michelle did it on Broadway by emulating Barbra while still making the role her own and Beenie Feldstein, well, enough has been written about that. Watching South Florida’s own Katerina McCrimmon in the production playing Fannie Brice I was skeptical, and never for once did I feel she was Jewish, but by the time she sings “I’m the Greatest Star” I was won over.
There are still problems with the book, especially in the second act. The Ziegfeld production numbers do little to further the plot or show off what made Fanny such a star and Nick’s role is still underdeveloped, but Stephen Mark Lucas is charismatic, and has a great voice, and is easily the prettiest in the cast. Melissa Manchester dropped out of the tour due to an injury, but Barbara Tirrell, who was standby for the role of Mrs. Brice on Broadway, does a great job and you can see that Fanny is truly her daughter.
Like Nick and Fanny’s marriage, this production isn’t going to be around long and if you’re smart, you’ll get a ticket before the parade passes by. (Oops! Wrong show.)
Broward Center for the Performing Arts
201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Running through 11/26