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Confirmed! Lauren Ambrose Will Play Fanny Brice In Funny Girl Revival!

| Filed under: Broadway Babies

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!

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14 comments to “Confirmed! Lauren Ambrose Will Play Fanny Brice In Funny Girl Revival!”

  1. 1

    I'm not sure why, but there is something about Lea Michele that makes me want to punch her in the throat as hard as possible. She's one of the most annoying performers I've ever encountered. And I have a few friends in NY who know her personally' they both said she's not that nice and not very respectful of her fans. So YAY for Lauren!!!

  2. 2

    Good for Lauren!!! I think they might have based there decision on the fact that Lauren can actually sing and not put people to sleep

  3. 3

  4. 4

    Looks like a great choice. And maybe the director did not want his work to seem like a spin-off of Glee.

  5. 5

    Lauren Ambrose is a great actress and, as it turns out, a wonderful singer as well (I thought I'd heard she sang opera as well?). I loved her in Six Feet Under.

  6. 6

    Lauren is actually a classically trained opera singer…

    surprised you didn't find that out with your "digging"

  7. 7

    I like Lauren as an actress, but this was just AWFUL!!! Just BAD!

  8. 8


  9. 9

    This has disaster written all over it. She's definitely no Barbra Streisand.

  10. 10

    well, seeing how lea is contractually obligated to GLEE, it seems it would be hard for her to be in two places at once….

  11. 11

    Re: one_love – I know! he keeps complaining that he wants Lea on glee and now he's saying he wants her in the Funny Girl Revival she can't do both especially if he still wants her on glee

  12. 12

    the girls not half bad or …half good…HA!!! DANCE-ING KANGEROOZZZZ;]

  13. 13

    I've been a fan of Lauren Ambrose ever since "Six Feet Under". Congrats to her & she sounds wonnnnderful.
    I can't stand Lea Michelle's voice.

  14. 14

    Re: messygirl515 – Your comment hits a bullseye for me. I agree completely! In fact for me, the whole Glee cast needs to graduate & disappear for good.