We were pulling for you, Lea Michele. We really were. We wanted this for you with all our hearts.
But we have to say - this girl's not half bad!
Yesterday, we reported a rumor that Six Feet Under star Lauren Ambrose was poised to take the lead in the new revival of Funny Girl on Broadway. That rumor has now been CONFIRMED, with both Lauren and director Bartlett Sher releasing statements to that effect.
For Lauren, this role is a dream come true and she conveyed her excitement for the project, saying:
"Let's face it, there is obviously more than a lot to live up to playing Fanny Brice, but I am humbled and thrilled by the opportunity to be a part of this revival. The character is complex, the music beautiful and challenging. I can't wait to get into that rehearsal room with the team Bart is assembling — wish we could start tomorrow!"
Alright, we're going to be honest. When we saw this news yesterday, we were not amused. We thought, "This chick's more of a film actress than a Broadway star," and we weren't so confident she could handle such an iconic role. Then, we did a little digging and we found out she's actually the lead in a band called Lauren Ambrose and the Leisure Class. Then, we found this video of Lauren singing a raspy, jazzy version of My Man from the film version of Funny Girl. (above)
We watched it. We liked it. We like her! She can sing!!! We're warming up to her…
For the rest of you, steadfast and true to your belief she isn't right for this point, we'd like to share with you the director's statement to put things into perspective:
"It's important that people not see this casting process as trying to find the next Barbra Streisand. She is one of a kind. Instead, I really needed someone with whom I could explore the original musical and come to terms with Fanny Brice for a new era. I understand how difficult this part is to fill as well as the characteristics required to explore this in a new way. The world of burlesque, vaudeville and the Follies is a unique American invention and how Fanny Brice came up in that world is a wonderful story, but this show is also about the sacrifices of being an artist and the high cost that women in particular suffer when they find great success and the difficult choices that come with accomplishment. Lauren Ambrose has enormous accomplishments as an actor, especially a truthfulness in her acting that leads to great comedy, as well as a wonderful, rich voice that is fully trained and can genuinely soar.
For me the key to any revival is finding the balance between respecting and unearthing all the deepest intentions of the original, and yet pushing the work ahead to see it in a new way. I know with Lauren that we can do that. We couldn't be more thrilled to get to work and make something special and something new."
So basically, suck it and stop crying. No one can be Barbra Streisand. True, there are some so eerily close that when you close your eyes while watching Glee, you'd think it was 1964 and you were sitting in the Winter Garden Theater watching Babs on opening night.
But this guy wants to put his own stamp on the show, which means he wants someone in a rank all her own for the role. Understandable, we suppose.
Still, don't think you've completely won us over yet, Missy! We need to hear you sing Don't Rain On Our Parade first! That's what is really going to make it or break it for us!
Tags: broadway, casting, funny girl, glee, lauren ambrose, lea michele, performance, statement