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BWW Exclusive: Ryan Murphy In Talks for Stage Rights to FUNNY GIRL


BroadwayWorld has just confirmed that GLEE creator Ryan Murphy is currently in talks for the stage rights to FUNNY GIRL, the musical in which Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) stars in, on the current fifth season of GLEE. There is no word yet on whether Michele is attached to the potential project, but here's to hoping for her Broadway return! Could life imitate art and could the show be setting up a real life sequence of events?

Murphy recently revealed that next year's sixth season will be GLEE's last, making its stars available for other projects soon after filming wraps in 2015. GLEE returns to the airwaves on Tuesday, February 25th at 8pm.

Back as early as 2011, when a revival of FUNNY GIRL was in the works, Ryan Murphy noted in interviews that "I keep saying that with the new Funny Girl revival, they should just say it's Rachel Berry in Funny Girl - get Lea to do that, but as Rachel Berry... It would be a crowd-pleaser."

FUNNY GIRL is a musical with a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill. The semi-biographical plot is based on the life and career of Broadway, film star and comedienne Fanny Brice and her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein. Its original title was My Man.

The Broadway production opened on March 26, 1964, catapulting the original star Barbra Streisand to worldwide stardom. The musical was directed by Garson Kanin and choreographed by Carol Haney under the supervision of Jerome Robbins. Streisand reprised her role in the 1966 West End production at the Prince of Wales Theatre directed by Lawrence Kasha. When Streisand became pregnant and had to drop out of the show, her understudy, Lisa Shane, wife of Italian Job Director, Peter Collinson, took over, and continued to perform until the show closed.

The show was scheduled to return to Broadway in 2012, in a production starring Lauren Ambrose and Bobby Cannavale and helmed by Bartlett Sher. The revival was postponed (and eventually cancelled) due to the 'economic climate.'

Murphy is perhaps best known as the creator of FOX's Glee. He is also responsible for such shows as Popular, Nip/Tuck, The New Normal and American Horror Story. His next project, a film version of The Normal Heart, will air on HBO in May 2014.

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