Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith starts rehearsals on on 19th October. The show made Barbra Streisand a star on Broadway in 1964 and is rarely produced, for two reasons: there are few actresses with the acting and vocal powers to portray Brice and I have been wondering how Sheridan is going to manage vocally as she is doing all the performances and the second act more like a Fanny Brice concert than a show with a story.
The show’s book has also always been problematic, but according to Baz in today's Mail this problem is about to be tackled with Harvey Fierstein (who wrote the script for new hit smash hit Kinky Boots) contracted to revise the show. David Babani, the Chocolate Factory’s artistic chief, confirmed: ‘Harvey Fierstein will be looking at revising the show’s book and making it acceptable for an audience today.’
Shjeridan has already started working with Alan Williams, the show’s musical supervisor, and has been reading with people at final auditions for other roles. Director Michael Mayer, choreographer Lynne Page and other members of the creative team have also had sessions with her.
The hope is to transfer the show into the West End and then Broadway when it ends its run at the Menier, but the very busy Sheridan has already said she has another job to go straight on to.