What do happy people do? Spend an entertaining few hours in a musical comedy of the Golden Age. The classic from 1964 Funny girl has its first Broadway revival, which opened in 2022, and now plays Lea Michele as Ziegfeld Follies real-life star Fanny Brice in The Theater Event of the Season, according to a five-star rating.
Isobel Lennart’s story, remastered by Harvey Fierstein, chronicles Fanny’s rise to fame and her troubled relationship with player Nick Arnstein. The musical is best known for the songs by Jule Styne. “People” and “I’m the Greatest Star” became instant classics when Barbra Streisand first sang them in the 1960s, and “Don’t Rain on My Parade” has been on list after list of the greatest showtunes of all time .
Learn about all the music that gets Broadway audiences dancing Funny girland get tickets for this rare opportunity to hear these songs live.
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Before any actors take the stage and sing, the orchestra plays an instrumental mashup of several Funny girl Songs to kick off the show. Overtures don’t appear in many modern musicals, but they are a staple of Golden Age classics.
“Who are you now?”
Most Funny girl is a flashback where Fanny reflects on her and Nick’s relationship while waiting for his return from prison. This song, in which Fanny hopes that she and Nick have changed for the better by getting to know each other, was originally only included in Act 2. The 2022 revival adds a short version at the beginning. “Are you a little more than before… Have I given you too little by loving you too much?” Fanny sings as the flashback begins.
“If a Girl Isn’t Pretty”
The real Fanny Brice didn’t have a small mouth, a thin snub nose, or blond curls—meaning she didn’t fit the standard definition of beauty. The same applies to the version of Fanny in Funny girl. In this song, her mother, Mrs. Rosie Brice, and Rosie’s friends try to talk her out of a showbiz career, as they don’t think she’ll succeed alongside the traditional beauties.
In fact, during the song, a casting director turns Fanny down because of her looks. But aside from its verses, “If a Girl Isn’t Pretty” isn’t a mean song. Rosie laments that the world isn’t always kind to those who are different: “If a girl isn’t pretty like Miss Atlantic City, all she gets in life is pity and a slap,” Rosie sings.
“I am the biggest star”
Even though Fanny’s mother doesn’t think she’ll make it in show business, that doesn’t stop Fanny from dreaming big. In this well-known tune, she uses all her skills – comedy, vocal impressions, high notes – to convince the audience that she is a unique talent that has yet to be discovered. Or, as Fanny puts it just before the song begins, “I’m a bagel on a plate of onion buns!”
This number is depicted on the 2022 Funny girl cast recording. There are no lyrics, just fleet-footed thumps set to equally upbeat music. Jared Grimes, who plays Fanny’s friend and colleague Eddie Ryan, is the man behind the faucets. His dancing earned him a Tony Award nomination in 2022!
“Cornet Man” is Fanny’s first number in Follies Funny girl. Dancing is not her forte and she messes up the choreography. In the end, however, she inspires everyone with her singing and earns Fanny her own place in the famous revue.
“His Love Makes Me Beautiful”
“His Love Makes Me Beautiful” is the number that really makes Fanny a Follies stand out. She is dressed as a bride and sings a song of adoration to her husband. But Fanny, a veteran comedian, shocks everyone by appearing “pregnant” on stage. Turning the romantic song into a comedic routine, she leaves audiences in awe and leaves her mark on the follies.
“I want to be seen with you tonight”
This is where Fanny and the audience meet Nick Arnstein for the first time. He immediately charms Fanny and she charms him again. Fanny is surprised that a sophisticated, attractive man like Nick would be interested in her, but he insists that she has a beauty of her own. “I want to be seen, to be seen with you, with you on my arm. wear you like a charm, your glitter adorn my arm.”
Henry Street takes place on New York Road where Mrs. Brice throws an opening party for Fanny following her hit Follies debut in His Love Makes Me Beautiful. She and all the party-goers are celebrating that their little Lower East Side neighborhood “has something it never had: the biggest, most glamorous, most real, most glorified Ziegfeld star!”
“People who need people are the happiest people in the world.” This tender token of love belongs to the bookends Funny girlThe most famous songs from . Nick and Fanny quickly fall in love and they celebrate their newfound happiness by singing this song.
“You’re a woman”
In this song, also called “You Are Woman, I Am Man,” Fanny and Nick confirm their love for each other over a fancy French dinner. Nick is blunt about wanting to be more than just friends – “You’re a woman, I’m a man. Let’s kiss” – but Fanny hesitates for a moment, wondering if her mother would approve of that and if it’s worth “becoming a sinner” for Nick. . However, by the end of the song, she gives in to her feelings for Nick.
“Don’t Rain on My Parade”
“Don’t rain on my parade” is Funny girl‘s most famous tune. Barbra Streisand delivered an iconic powerhouse performance in the original Funny girl Broadway production and film, making Don’t Rain on My Parade her trademark.
In this rousing finale of Act 1, Fanny strongly expresses her strong desire to be with Nick, despite his shady past. Even if she ultimately fails, she won’t let anyone take her chance to live, love and enjoy her happiness as long as she has it: “I have to fly once, I have to try once, I can only die once, right.” , Sir?”
After a brief Entr’acte (the equivalent of Act 2 of an overture) Funny girl takes us to newlywed Fanny and Nick’s home on Long Island, where Fanny’s friends are throwing a party. This song is Fanny’s whimsical answer when Ziegfeld asks what married life is like. “I’m Sadie, Sadie, married lady – bow as I come by! I am a company now, not me, myself and me.”
“Who taught her everything?”
This song originally appeared in Act 1 but was postponed for the 2022 revival and is now listed as “Who Taught Her Everything She Knows?”. However, the premise of the song remains the same: Rosie and Eddie worry that Fanny will leave them in the dust and not give them credit while their star is rising. As “Who taught her everything?” was in Act 1, Rosie and Eddie sang it shortly after Fanny was cast in The Follies. Now comes the song after Fanny actually had success.
Styne wrote “Temporary Arrangement,” a solo in which Nick sings about his ever-changing destiny, for the original Broadway production, but the song was cut. It was eventually cut for the film as well. However when Funny girl revived in London in 2016, the song was added back to spice up Nick’s role. Several elements from the 2016 production were retained for the 2022 Broadway revival, and “Temporary Arrangement” is one of them.
“Advice Deed Deed Deed”
Like “His Love Makes Me Beautiful,” “Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat” is another Ziegfeld Follies act that features Fanny. This military number pays homage to World War I, in which Fanny plays Private Schwartz, the only female soldier in charge of a company of male performers.
“Who Are You Now? (repeat) / People (repeat)”
Originally “Who are you now?” only appears once on the show as a duet between Nick and Fanny. Now, with Fanny singing a solo version at the head of the show, their original duet becomes a repeat. The song is tense as they just lost money on a bad investment. As they sing “Are You Someone Better for My Love?” they hope their love is enough, but wonder if they’re really putting each other down.
“You’re a Funny Girl / Beekman Call”
“Though you may be dead wrong for a guy, you’re good for a laugh,” Nick Fanny sings in this short ode, which drops the show’s title. In the second half, “Beekman Call,” Nick is on the phone with Tom Lefton, with whom he makes a risky deal to get back the money he and Fanny lost.
“What do happy people do?”
The Follies girls perform this short transitional number, singing lyrics like, “Are they collecting shells to fill with dewdrops? Are they asking the moon to make their dreams come true?” The song parallels Fanny’s situation in which the once-successful girl is now slipping away from happiness. Her lost money has turned her marriage upside down.
“The Music That Makes Me Dance”
At this point in the show, Nick has just been arrested for embezzlement. Despite all the ups and downs they’ve had romantically and financially, Fanny still loves him dearly. In this sad ballad, she claims that “his only music is that it makes me dance”.
Funny girl‘s Dream Ballet, added for the 2022 Broadway revival, is an instrumental song. As the music plays, Fanny reflects on her life, romance and career and what she wants for the future.
Dream ballets are fairly common in older musicals, each expressing different themes and character journeys through different dance styles. Oklahoma! contains the most famous dream ballet of musical theater, but also contains other classical musicals that contain it brigade, boys and dolls, In the cityand The pajama game.
“Funny Girl / Don’t Rain On My Parade (Reprise II)”
The finale of Act 2 begins somberly as Fanny mourns her lost love. “I guess it’s not funny; life is far from sunny when the laughs are over and the joke is on you,” she sings. But in the end, she finds that even though “I guess we didn’t make it, at least I wasn’t faking it,” and she can still pick herself up. The show doesn’t end on an absolutely positive note, but with a faint glimmer of hope for Fanny’s future.
“Arcs/People (Reprise II)”
After an instrumental interlude while the cast take their bow, the company delivers a brief post-show reprise of “People,” leaving audiences with the message that “people who need people are the happiest people alive.”
“Find a Man”
Long time fans of Funny girl You may be wondering why this song, which is included in the original production, has been removed from this list. “Find Yourself a Man” was cut for both the 2016 London revival and the Broadway revival. In the song, Rosie’s friends encourage her to find a husband who will support her so Fanny – who is busy with her marriage, a new baby and the Follies – doesn’t have to.