Theatre Review: FUNNY GIRL at the Fabulous Fox
Hello gorgeous! Funny Girl takes center stage as a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences with its irresistible charm and poignant narrative. An iconic production that debuted on Broadway in 1964 with a movie following in 1968, it solidified the critical acclaim of star, Barbara Streisand.
Funny Girl is based on the semi-biographical story of comedian and Broadway star Fanny Brice. Along with her rise to fame professionally, her personal life is upended when she meets ne’er-do-well Nick Arnstein. What follows is a splendid musical featuring a cast full of heart and talent.
A musical about a rising star should only feature a star itself, and Funny Girl finds that in Katerina McCrimmon. McCrimmon commands the stage with her captivating performance. She embodies the essence of Fannie, infusing her role with depth and nuance. McCrimmon’s strength is her powerful vocal prowess but also the seemingly effortless manner in which she delivers each song. Furthermore, her impeccable comedic timing adds a delightful layer to the performance, drawing the audience along with her as the famed Broadway star. The timeless, iconic songs such as “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and “People” are a delight under McCrimmon’s command.
Staring against McCrimmon is Stephen Mark Lukas as Nick Arnstein. Lukas embodies the role of Arnstein – chiseled good looks, charm, and a strong voice. Adding to the dramatic element of the show, his subtle despair as a man with faults counters the overly cheerful tone of most of the songs.
Izaiah Montaque Harris (Eddie Ryan) brings a strong dance background to his role. His solo tap dance is remarkable in its top-notch technical skill, but also evokes a graceful nature throughout the choreography. The trio of Mrs. Brice (Barbara Tirrell), Eileen T’kaye (Mrs. Strakosh), and Mrs. Meeker (Hannah Shankman) keep the audience laughing throughout the musical as three mothers wanted the best for their children. Tirrell, particularly, commands attention in her role as Fannie’s supportive mother.
In addition to the main stars, the ensemble does not disappoint. The enchanting choreography and powerful vocals propel the musical forward, creating a show that is an absolute delight to watch. The creative decisions from lighting to set design enhance the mood and emotion of each scene with subtlety and precision.
The Funny Girl tour is a pleasure to watch. Audiences will enjoy the passion and energy of the musical as the production promises an enchanting blend of humor, heart, and show-stopping performances. Featuring the classic and well-known songs it is known for, the tour does great service to the productions that have come before it, all the while showcasing the incredible talent on stage.
Funny Girl runs through February 4th at The Fabulous Fox Theater.
Photos: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade