Here’s a unique and dynamic look at Fanny Brice, the original Funny Girl, and her rise from poverty to become a superstar, then falling for a man who's a crook. This musical couldn’t be timelier with a big-budget revival of “Funny Girl” coming to Broadway soon. In this version we get to meet lots of colorful characters, including Fanny’s good friend Gypsy Rose Lee, Flo Ziegfeld, W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Nicky Arnstein, and Brice's mother and father. Every actress will enjoy singing songs Fanny Brice made famous, as "My Man" and "Second Hand Rose." Other songs include “The Sheik of Araby,” “After the Ball,” “Rose of Washington Square,” “You Made Me Love You,” and more. Easy to stage and an engrossing look into a golden age of show business! (Audio file at right: Opening song, "Rose of Washington Square," and dialogue.)
Chip Deffaa Talks About
PRESENTING FANNY BRICE – THE ORIGINAL FUNNY GIRL
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS MUSICAL?
A: Fanny Brice rose from humble origins to become a legendary entertainer--America's highest-paid singing comedienne. Her life inspired the musicals "Funny Girl" and "Funny Lady." When I was growing up I was befriended by a former vaudevillian who'd known Brice, Gypsy Rose Lee, and other old-time stars, and told me there was a lot more to Brice's story than was suggested by "Funny Girl" and "Funny Lady." That made me want to dig a little deeper into her life. The real story fascinated me.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE? WHY?
A: The role of Fanny Brice is a killer role. There's no better showcase to be found anywhere for a triple-threat actress. Brice made people laugh, and she made people cry. She sang, she did comedy, she danced--it's a tremendously challenging role to play--but a very rewarding one. I also like the supporting characters: Walter Winchell, Gypsy Rose Lee, W. C. Fields, Madame Elisa Friedman, Willie Weston--because they're so colorful.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS MUSICAL?
A: I wanted to offer a more honest look at Fanny Brice and Nicky Arnstein than had been seen before, and I wanted to tell the story using numbers that Brice herself actually sang--numbers like "Sadie Salome Go Home," "Ballin' the Jack," and "The Sheik of Avenue B"--numbers you'll find nowhere else.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: I'm very grateful to the actors who helped me develop this show. Talented actors like Emily Bordonaro, Jack Saleeby, Michael Townsend Wright--who've worked with me on assorted projects over the years. They weren't just the first people to bring this particular script to life; I actually wrote this script with them in mind. And their energy, their ideas, their personalities and enthusiasm helped make the show what it is.