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STAGE TUBE: Lauren Ambrose at the Mic - Musical Theater's Newest Star

BroadwayWorld announced yesterday that Lauren Ambrose has landed the coveted role of Fanny Brice in FUNNY GIRL in the first Broadway production of the musical since it originally opened in 1964. FUNNY GIRL, which features music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart, will be directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher

The news came as a surprise to many, as Ambrose - while a screen favortie and sometimes stage star - is not a regular in the big musical circuit. In fact, the announcement had many asking...can she sing?

Ambrose, in fact, has powerhouse vocals and has been singing since childhood. She is the lead singer of jazz, swing and ragtime-style Leisure Class band, and in trained in opera at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.  Many may also recall Ambrose's famous belt-out of the "Rainbow of Reasons" gag in a 2006 episode of Six Feet Under. The theater world certainly has a lot to look forward to when this soulful songstress reimagines Fanny onstage.

To better introduce you to Ambrose-the-musical-theater-star, below BroadwayWorld shares with you clips of Ambrose at the mic, dating back from her early days on Star Search! And yes, "Rainbow of Reasons" is included for a nice walk down memory lane.

FUNNY GIRL will play at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles from January 15 through February 26, 2012 prior to opening in spring 2012 on Broadway.

Lauren Ambrose received two Emmy Award nominations and two SAG Awards for her role as Claire Fisher in the critically acclaimed television drama, "Six Feet Under". She has previously appeared on Broadway in Awake and Sing! and Exit the King and starred in the Shakespeare in the Park productions of Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet and in Buried Child at The National Theatre in London. Her film roles include In & Out, Can't Hardly Wait, Psycho Beach Party, Swimming, Admissions, Diggers, Starting Out in the Evening, Cold Souls, A Dog Year, The Other Woman, Where the Wild Things Are and the upcoming films, Wanderlust, Think of Me and Grassroots. Her television credits include "Torchwood," "Party of Five," "Loving Leah," "The Return of Jezebel James," "Saving Graces," and "Law & Order."

FUNNY GIRL is the road-to-stardom story of legendary entertainer Fanny Brice, from her start in a Brooklyn music hall to her meteoric rise as a headliner in the Ziegfeld Follies. While her career soars, she falls in love with charming gambler Nick Arnstein, just as his own lucky streak is running out. FUNNY GIRL is an irresistible backstage drama, a heartbreaking romance and a classic musical comedy filled with unforgettable songs by the team of Jule Styne and Bob Merrill including "Don't Rain on My Parade," "I'm the Greatest Star," "The Music That Makes Me Dance," and the iconic hit "People."

FUNNY GIRL originally opened on Broadway on March 26, 1964 at the Winter Garden Theatre and played for 1,348 performances. FUNNY GIRL was a hit on national tour and in London and was adapted to the screen for the popular 1968 movie version, but has not played Broadway since the original production closed in 1967.

For FUNNY GIRL, Bartlett Sher reunites the design team of his acclaimed Tony Award-winning production of South Pacific: scenic design by Michael Yeargan, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Donald Holder and sound design by Scott Lehrer. Music director is Kimberly Grigsby. Choreographer is Christopher Gattelli.

FUNNY GIRL will be produced in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre by Center Theatre Group, with special permission from Bob Boyett, Sonia Friedman Productions, Jean Doumanian, Stacey Mindich and Tim Levy.

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