Dec 12, 2012
Music Theatre Review
I chose to watch and review Funny Girl musical, book by Isobel Lennart, and music by June Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill. Its original title was My Man. Ray Stark, who was Brice’s son-in-law via his marriage to her daughter Frances, produced the musical. It has screen adaption in 1968 by director William Wyler. The “Funny Girl” showed the career of stage comedienne Fanny Brice – which made Barbra Streisand the 1968 Oscar for Best Actress. This film was also the top grossing film of 1968 as it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and other awards.
Funny Girl was a story happened in New York City between Fanny Brice, a star of Ziegfeld Follies, and Nick Arnstein, who was very good at gambling. This musical reflected their story as a flashback.
Fanny Brice, who was a girl that had skinny legs, had troubles with her job because she could not catch up with other beautiful girls in the show. Her mother and Mrs. Strakosh tried to stop her from showing on the stage but it was useless. One day, when her boss fired her, she was so angry with him and said he would regret if he did this. At this time, Fanny performed “I’m the greatest star,” which was enjoyed by Eddie Ryan who after that encouraged her to perform on stage. That night when she was performing, she made the audience laugh because of her clumsiness and her face. She thought she ruined the show but in fact, everyone loved her performance. After the vaudeville show, she met Nick Arnstein, a handsome man in a gorgeous tailcoat and she was dazed by his handsomeness. He helped her to trick her boss for paying her $50 a week. Great deal for her!
Once fanny’s career took off, she received a telegram from Ziegfeld Follies. He offered her a job in the theatre. She was so surprised that she could not say a word, and she thought it was a dream. However, Fanny’s mother and Eddie really mourn that once Fanny got on the stage, she would only know about the audience and her performance. Ziegfeld told her to perform a romantic number in the Follies, but she turned a loving act into a classic comic routine, appeared as a pregnant bride and presented “His love makes me beautiful.” This made the audience laugh a lot and surprised Ziegfeld. She thought he would fire her but in turn out he still kept her. Then, she met Arnstein again and he agreed to accompany Fanny to her mother’s opening night party on “Henry Street.” Fanny is totally in love with Nick. However, Nick had to leave with a promise that he would call her when he got back.
One year after, they met in Baltimore. Fanny was surprised and so angry when she saw Nick at the train station. Although she refused Nick to come to a dinner, she still showed up. A private dinner in a swanky restaurant was the place where they expressed all their feelings “Your are woman, I am man.” They had a really good time dating together.
When Nick left for Chicago, Fanny decided to quit Ziegfeld and the Follies and travelled with him. Fanny hoped she could get marry with Nick despite his gambling past. Once Nick won the gambling game, he agreed to get marry with Fanny, which made her really happy because she could become “Sadie, Sadie.” They got married and moved to a mansion on Long Island, having a joyful life with their little daughter. Now, Mrs. Strakosh and Eddie suggested Mrs. Brice that she should find a man (“Find yourself a man,”), because her daughter would support her.
When Nick lost everything in a gambling game, they moved back into city and Fanny started to be back in the Follies and became Ziegfeld’s major star again. Nick was quite jealous because Fanny would forget everyone else. Fanny wanted to help Nick, so she told Tom Branca to invite Nick to be an investor and she would invest everything. This hurt Nick’s pride, so he decided to get involved in a shady bond deal, resulting in his arrest for embezzlement. Fanny felt helpless. However, she had…