Photo Flash: Funny Girl At Westchester Broadway Theater
WESTCHESTER BROADWAY THEATRE is Proud To Present FUNNY GIRL with music by Jule Styne Lyrics by Bob Merrill, book by Isobel Lennart runs March 26, 2009 - June 14, 2009
Starring Jill Abramovitz and Grant Norman
Funny Girl follows the career of Fanny Brice, one of the brightest comedi ennes of the American musical theatre. Born in 1891 as Fannie Borach, she was a young Jewish girl growing up in Brooklyn, New York in the early 1900's with a burning desire to be a performer. Fanny Brice made her first appear ance in Vaudeville in 1910 and catapulted her way into stardom in the Ziegfield Follies where she performed for the next 25 years. It is a "Cinderella" story of sorts, however, with a slightly different twist; the ugly duckling is never transformed into a beautiful swan, nor is triumph over adversity the main plot. Actually, it is really the story of two people who meet, have an instant mutual attraction, but who come from two completely different worlds. Fanny, who has had little schooling, yet is honest, hard working and extremely ambitious, and Nicky Arnstein, the man she falls head over heels in love with. He is handsome, sophisticated and very glamorous; however, he is a gambler and an opportunist despite all his education and polish.
Jule Styne, one of the supreme ballad composers of this century, together with lyricist Bob Merrill has written a collec tion of spine-tingling ballads and hilari ous comedic numbers that truly capture the atmosphere of this fabulous Ziegfeld era. Styne has been touted as one of the most prolific tunesmiths of his time. A few of his other memorable shows include Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Bells Are Ringing; Peter Pan; Sugar; Do Re Mi; Hallelujah, Baby; Gypsy and the recently revived, Off-Broadway hit, Enter Laughing, (The Musical.)
The Broadway musical Funny Girl opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in March of 1964, and ran until July of 1967. Barbra Streisand, who was virtually unknown in 1964, propelled Funny Girl into the standing-room-only category with her fabulous portrayal of Fanny Brice. Sydney Chaplin created the role of Nickey Arnstein. Streisand went on to star, making her debut, in the 1968 film of Funny Girl opposite Omar Sharif. She was nominated and won an "Oscar" her first time out. The song "People", sung by Barbra Steisand, became a standard around the world. The score to Funny Girl and the song "People" both won Grammy Awards in 1965.
Our Production stars Jill Abramovitz as Fanny Brice and Grant Norman as the dashing, high flying gambler, Nicky Arnstein. The cast features Kilty Reidy, as Eddie Ryan, Fanny's best pal, dance teacher and manager. Mrs. Brice is played by Louisa Flaningam, The legendary Florenz Zeigfeld is portrayed by Gary Lemkueler, Dawn Newman plays Emma, Karen Patricia McDonald is Mrs. Strakosh and Mr. Keeney is played by Roger Preston Smith. The ensemble features: Brian Curl, Mark Donaldson, Debi Guthery, Synthia Link, Benjie Randall, Rusty Reynolds, Morgan Rose, Kimberly Schafer, Hayley Sharples, Karla Shook, Kent Zimmerman and Rye native, Darcy Yellin. The production is directed by WBT veteran, Donald E. Birely, with Michael Susko as Choreographer and Jeff Tanski is the Musical Director. The winning production team includes Steve Loftus (Set Designer), Andrew Gmoser (Lighting Designer), Jon Hatton (Sound Designer), Matthew Hemesath (Costume Designer), Victor Lukas (Production Stage Manager) and Ron Rogell (Assistant Stage Mgr.)
Donald E. Birely (Director) continues his 17-year affiliation at WBT with this production of Funny Girl. Past directing credits include: Smokey Joe's Café, Bye Bye Birdie, And The World Goes Round, School House Rock Live, as well as United We Stand ( A 9/11 Benefit), and WBT's 30th Anniversary , Franks Way ,Our Way. . Regional directing credits include: Sound of Music, The Music Man, Oklahoma, Annie, Once Upon a Mattress, Always, Patsy Cline, She Loves Me, and Victor/Victoria with companies such as Musicals at Richter, Millbrook Playhouse, and Weathervane Playhouse. Mr. Birely also produced and directed the 25th Anniversary of the musical Irene with original cast members. Mr. Birely is the founder of DB Productions, a company specializing in musical entertainment.
Jill Abramovitz (Fanny Brice) Has appeared on Broadway in Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. Regional and Off-Broadway: Up In The Air (Kennedy Center), See Rock City (Barrington Stage), How to Succeed (Hedy LaRue -White Plains PAC). Junie B. Jones (Lortel), Cam Jansen (Lamb's). Workshops/readings include: Ever After, Catch Me If You Can, Little Miss Sunshine, The Grinch. Recent TV/Film: 30 Rock (NBC), Z-Rock (IFC), An Invisible Sign (J2 Pictures). Jill is an award-winning lyricist in the BMI Workshop and, along with composer Aron Accurso, the recipient of a Dramatists Guild Fellowship and the Weston Playhouse New Musical Award. This summer, she's playing the role of Bernstein in David Mamet's November at the Hangar Theatre.
Grant Norman (Nick Arnstein) Was Last seen playing the role of Gaston in the Broadway production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Grant is happy to return to WBT where he last performed the role of Fred in Miracle on 34th St. He also played the role of The Beast on the North American National Tour where he garnered 2 National Theater Award nominations. He played the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera on the American National Tour as well as at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. .
I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE! 6/18/09 - 8/2/09
BEEHIVE 8/6/09 - 9/19/09
42ND STREET 9/24/09 - 11/28/09
TICKETS & INFORMATION
BOX OFF. RESERVATIONS Call (914)-592-2222. Open every day at 10am.
Closing times vary, depending on show sched ules.
GROUP RESERVATIONS: Call 592-2225, Mon. thru Fri. 10am - 6pm
LUXURY BOXES: Call 592-8730, Mon. thru Fri. 10am - 4pm
Dinner & Show range between $60.00 and $73.00 PLUS TAX depending on the performance chosen. DISCOUNTS FOR GROUPS OF 20 OR MORE are available as well as discounts for children, students, and senior citi zens at selected perform ances.
SHOW TIMES: Performances are Thursdays thru Sundays (With selected Wednesday Matinees & Evenings...Call the Box Office for dates.) Wednesday and Thursday Matinees - Lunch: 11:30am &. Show: 1pm. Wednesday - Saturday Evenings. - Dinner: 6pm. & Show: 8pm. Sunday Matinees - Lunch: 12 Noon & Show: 1:30pm. Sunday Evenings - Dinner: 5pm. & Show: 7pm.
LUXURY BOXES: For private parties of 6 to 22. Enjoy dining and theatre in an elegant private box. Additional features include an expanded dinner menu, hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, a private powder room, and Luxury Box reserved parking.
Photos by John Vecchiolla
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