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Rialto Chatter: Lea Michele Def. Out; Lauren Ambrose to Take on FUNNY GIRL?


As BroadwayWorld has previously reported, Broadway producer Bob Boyett is endeavoring to revive FUNNY GIRL on Broadway with famed director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, Awake and Sing, The Light in the Piazza) at the helm. Rumors have been circulating that Broadway veteran and GLEE star Lea Michele had her eyes on the project, but according to E!Online, stage veteran Lauren Ambrose is the producers' current favorite to play the iconic role.

Ambrose is perhaps best known for starring as Claire Fisher in HBO's Six Feet Under, In 2006, Ambrose made her Broadway debut in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Awake and Sing!. In 2007, she appeared as Juliet in The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, to great critical acclaim. She appeared as Ophelia in the 2008 performance of Hamlet for Shakespeare in the Park.

Ambrose recently returned to Broadway in Exit the King (by Eugene Ionesco) at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on Broadway, opposite Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon. Ambrose provided the voice of monster KW in Where the Wild Things Are, which was released in 2009. She can currently be seen in Starz' Torchwood: Miracle Day.

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FUNNY GIRL has 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 Nicky Arnstein. The musical was produced by Ray Stark, who was Brice's son-in-law via his marriage to her daughter Frances, and starred Barbra Streisand. The production was nominated for eight Tony Awards but, facing tough competition from Hello, Dolly!, it failed to win in any categories.



Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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