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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?

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Jordan Catalano
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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#51
Posted: 1/15/20 at 3:41pm
I don’t think you can compare theatre audiences in 1967 to audiences now or even in 2003. Back then you could still get mezz seats for $6 and not $250. So going to the theatre wasn’t something some people had to save all year for.
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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#52
Posted: 1/15/20 at 4:23pm

SweetLips22 said: "Just watched Sutton Foster sing Greatest star--so much mugging that was unfunny. And Shoshanna Bean highlights??-disaster.

The thing with Streisand was that her distinct and unique sound was something that only her throat could produce[obvious]. Listening to Ms Foster her voice was similar to hundreds of other talented young women.

I wouldn't put money into Funny Girl with any mentioned here. To make this sell out for a year at least you need someone like Renee Zellweger.
"

I can't say that I agree with you re Funny Girl.  On another subject, someone proposed her name if Mame ever gets revived, and I thought that made sense.  She is warm (essential in Mame), can sing more than adequately, seems right for the comedy requirements.  (Whether she can do the title number, unless they completely rethink all the high kicks, is a big question).

Re Funny Girl, however, Fanny has a lot more songs and they are not easy songs.  I can't imagine that any of  the Mame songs (other than If He Walked Into My Life) would be anywhere near as challenging as People, Don't Rain on My Parade, His is the Only Music that Makes Me Dance, Who Are You Now (assuming they use the show score, which is unlikely, of course).  If RZ ever wanted to do Broadway(a big 'if'Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?, Mame seems to me a much better fit.

 
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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#53
Posted: 1/15/20 at 4:34pm

The question for is this: is Idina enough to fill a theater for a year? She barely did it with If/Then and the show struggled quite a bit when she wasn’t in it.

Well, that was a terrible show though, so big difference. I think she could fill a theater with this lovely show, absolutely. 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#54
Posted: 1/15/20 at 4:45pm

The other thing Menzel has going for her is that she is Jewish and has a true glamour about her.  That glamour/mystique is one of the essential things Streisand had in the role that few of the women ever suggested for the part of Fanny Brice have in turn. 

“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”
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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#55
Posted: 1/15/20 at 4:46pm

"You've got to have a Jewish girl, and if she's not Jewish she at least has to have a nose." -Stephen Sondheim

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#56
Posted: 1/15/20 at 4:51pm

Jordan Catalano said: "I don’t think you can compare theatre audiences in 1967 to audiences now or even in 2003. Back then you could still get mezz seats for $6 and not $250. So going to the theatre wasn’t something some people had to save all year for."

You are correct.  In 1967 you could see any show for $3.00 in the balcony arrear mezzanine...if the show had elevated prices, e.g., Fiddler, you would pay $3.60.  I saw Barefoot in the Park from about the 10th row of the orchestra for less than $4, but it was on twofers.  I also remember seeing Wait Until Dark with Lee Remick at a matinee (matinees were cheaper than evenings, about 60-70% of the price on average) in the orchestra for $2.65 (don't ask me why I remember, but I was always a numbers person), which was also a twofer price; full-price tickets were $5.25 at matinees.  Best of all, front mezzanine seats were cheaper than orchestra tickets for most of the 60s...it did start to change at some point, but I don't remember when.  For at least the first three or so years of Hello Dolly's original engagement, orchestra seats were $9.60, but the first row center of the front mezzanine, great seats in the St.James, was $7.50. Boy do I long for those days, in terms of prices average income.

 
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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#57
Posted: 1/15/20 at 5:05pm

While people may criticize the choice of Michael Mayer for the revival, it is his London revival that got great reviews and went on tour (with Sheridan Smith who is not a great singer).  The revised book by Harvey Fierstein will probably get revised some more by Fierstein for this production. I'm very excited about this. 

"It does what a musical is supposed to do; it takes you to another world. And it gives you a little tune to carry in your head. Something to take you away from the dreary horrors of the real world. A little something for when you're feeling blue. You know?"
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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#58
Posted: 1/15/20 at 9:16pm

BroadwayBaby6 said: "While people may criticize the choice of Michael Mayer for the revival, it is his London revival that got great reviews and went on tour (with Sheridan Smith who is not a great singer). "

I agree - the headline here isn't Menzel, it's that the Michael Mayer/ Harvey Fierstein version from Menier Chocolate Factory is the production that is transferring. (Not a previously almost-mounted Bartlett Sher version.) That means cut Jule Styne songs ("Temporary Arrangement" and "What Do Happy People Do" for Nick Arnstein) are back in the show along with the title tune from the movie.It is also set in Fierstein's revised Follies-esque ghosts-of-the-past framing device. Could be interesting. 

 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#59
Posted: 1/15/20 at 9:32pm

TotallyEffed said: "Show2n said: "Wow, Ifthis is true, oh PLEASE let Shoshana Bean be the alternate Fanny.


https://youtu.be/H1SJHjVFhTk

"

That would be career suicide.
"

Why? Was Donna Murphy being the alternate Dolly career suicide for her? 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#60
Posted: 1/15/20 at 9:49pm
I like how some posts got deleted and no one said anything that could be classed as slander.

Maybe this boards needs a list of who people who we can and cannot say anything critical about
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#61
Posted: 1/15/20 at 9:49pm
I like how some posts got deleted and no one said anything that could be classed as slander.

Maybe this boards needs a list of who people who we can and cannot say anything critical about
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#62
Posted: 1/15/20 at 10:01pm

BroadwayBaby6 said: "While people may criticize the choice of Michael Mayer for the revival, it is his London revival that got great reviews and went on tour (with Sheridan Smith who is not a great singer). The revised book by Harvey Fierstein will probably get revised some more by Fierstein for this production. I'm very excited about this."

It wasn't a very good revival but it had a star, who really couldn't sing the score traditionally (and was not Jewish in the slightest) but was so charming that it made the show feel better than it actually was.

 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#63
Posted: 1/15/20 at 11:12pm

Jarethan I always respect your incredible theatre knowledge and I certainly do agree that Renee would be a better Mame than Fanny.

I was really just trying to find a Hollywood name that could possible attract an audience that had never heard of Funny Girl, but would buy a ticket to see Renee---especially after Judy.

I certainly wouldn't buy a ticket to see Funny Girl starring Natalie Nobody who are the majority suggested here, except perhaps Idina.

She has a growing back story, attractive in an unattractive way, a voice that can belt and seduce. Can she tap? long enough away to learn and can she convincingly do slapstick?

Lots of 'can she' but she would be the biggest 'name' within the musicals industry without resorting to a  Hollywood name who would have the talent.

There are a lot more Hollywood Mames then there are Fannys'.

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#64
Posted: 1/15/20 at 11:19pm

rosscoe(au) said: "I like how some posts got deleted and no one said anything that could be classed as slander.

Maybe this boards needs a list of who people who we can and cannot say anything critical about
"

My post containing my reaction to it was also deleted (with no explanation sent to me). Surprising that someone can't state their [non-slanderous and non-discriminatory] opinion on...a website meant to house opinions? I get that it's their site and they can do what they want, but reeeeeally? Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl? 

N E WAY, I want this to come to fruition. Idina's sung a few selections live over the years and can do them all well. Cornet Man, Don't Rain on My Parade (which she crushes), the title song, are all settled right into her vocal comfort zone.

p.s. I love that someone just re-uploaded Cornet Man yesterday. My previous upload of it was pulled some years ago for copyright.

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#65
Posted: 1/15/20 at 11:43pm

This is just like when the absurd rumors started that Lady Gaga was going to do "Funny Girl" on Broadway.  It makes no sense, and no legit news site is reporting this story.

We'll have a good laugh about this in a year when this doesn't happen.  Just like with LG. 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#66
Posted: 1/15/20 at 11:50pm

nealb1 said: "This is just like when the absurd rumors started that Lady Gaga was going to do "Funny Girl" on Broadway. It makes no sense, and no legit news site is reporting this story.

We'll have a good laugh about this in a year when this doesn't happen. Just like with LG.
"

Mmm, no... I think this one is legit. 

Now, that real question - what theater will this take? Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl? 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#67
Posted: 1/16/20 at 12:15am

SweetLips22 said: "Jarethan I always respect your incredible theatre knowledge and I certainly do agree that Renee would be a better Mame than Fanny.

I was really just trying to find a Hollywood name that could possible attract an audience that had never heard of Funny Girl, but would buy a ticket to see Renee---especially after Judy.

I certainly wouldn't buy a ticket to see Funny Girl starring Natalie Nobody who are the majority suggested here, except perhaps Idina.

She has a growing back story, attractive in an unattractive way, a voice that can belt and seduce. Can she tap? long enough away to learn and can she convincingly do slapstick?

Lots of 'can she' but she would be the biggest 'name' within the musicals industry without resorting to a Hollywood name who would have the talent.

There are a lot more Hollywood Mames then there are Fannys'.
"

Absolutely agree.

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#68
Posted: 1/16/20 at 2:33am

haterobics said: "I love Idina, but isn't she way too old for the part? She's about twice Barbra's age when she played the role, no?"

If you're going to play that game and bring up how old Streisand was when she took up the role then I can just as convincingly make the argument that Streisand was way to young to play Dolly Levi. Streisand was 27 years old and in the original Broadway production Dolly Levi was played by several actresses (Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, and Etherl Merman) all who were considerably older than Streisand (42, 54, 50, 49, 52, and 62 years old respectively). The role was clearly written for an older woman but I see no complaints on that front. If anything Menzel playing Fanny is evening things out a little bit.

 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#69
Posted: 1/16/20 at 3:25am

b741ma said: 

If you're going to play that game and bring up how old Streisand was when she took up the role then I can just as convincingly make the argument that Streisand was way to young to play Dolly Levi. Streisand was 27 years old and in the original Broadway production Dolly Levi was played by several actresses (Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, and Etherl Merman) all who were considerably older than Streisand (42, 54, 50, 49, 52, and 62 years old respectively). The role was clearly written for an older woman but I see no complaints on that front. 

People have been talking about Streisand's age in Dolly! since before the film was even released.

 

​​​

 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#70
Posted: 1/16/20 at 3:26am

b741ma said: "haterobics said: "I love Idina, but isn't she way too old for the part? She's about twice Barbra's age when she played the role, no?"

If you're going to play that game and bring up how old Streisand was when she took up the role then I can just as convincingly make the argument that Streisand was way to young to play Dolly Levi. Streisand was 27 years old and in the original Broadway production Dolly Levi was played by several actresses (Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, and Etherl Merman) all who were considerably older than Streisand (42, 54, 50, 49, 52, and 62 years old respectively). The role was clearly written for an older woman but I see no complaints on that front. If anything Menzel playing Fanny is evening things out a little bit.


"

Are you for real? The fact that Streisand was too young of decades for the role is like universally accepted and considered very high on the list of reasons why she was miscast as Dolly 

 

 

 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#71
Posted: 1/16/20 at 8:13am

b741ma said: "haterobics said: "I love Idina, but isn't she way too old for the part? She's about twice Barbra's age when she played the role, no?"

If you're going to play that game and bring up how old Streisand was when she took up the role then I can just as convincingly make the argument that Streisand was way to young to play Dolly Levi. Streisand was 27 years old and in the original Broadway production Dolly Levi was played by several actresses (Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, and Etherl Merman) all who were considerably older than Streisand (42, 54, 50, 49, 52, and 62 years old respectively). The role was clearly written for an older woman but I see no complaints on that front. If anything Menzel playing Fanny is evening things out a little bit.


"

You must be quite young to not know that everyone believes that Streisand was too young for Dolly. Even Streisand has commented that she was too young for the role. If you are still young, I don't blame you for not knowing; but it definitely isn't a great argument for you to make in this case.

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#72
Posted: 1/16/20 at 9:38am
My comment about Lea Michele was deleted *eyeroll*
My guess for which Theatre would be The Hudson.
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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#73
Posted: 1/16/20 at 11:09am

nealb1 said: "This is just like when the absurd rumors started that Lady Gaga was going to do "Funny Girl" on Broadway. It makes no sense, and no legit news site is reporting this story.

We'll have a good laugh about this in a year when this doesn't happen. Just like with LG.
"

It definitely makes no sense whatsoever to have arguably the (or one of the) biggest star of the current Broadway era star in the only show she's talked incessantly about wanting to revive for some 20 years now that she's at the height of her fame and has the influence to help bring that dream to fruition, to the point of specific producers named as being involved and a time frame being named.

Absurdity.

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#74
Posted: 1/16/20 at 11:22am

That means cut Jule Styne songs ("Temporary Arrangement" and "What Do Happy People Do" for Nick Arnstein) are back in the show along with the title tune from the movie.

Temporary Arrangement needs to stay cut.  It was the one clunker in an otherwise solid revival.

The discussion of age is a bit silly.  The strength of the actress in the role has always been given more weight than accuracy of age.  The role of Fanny Brice spans her age from 17-36, but it's not as if those numbers are contingent to the show's success (I had to look it up just now because I've never had a reason to care about it before).  I saw the revival and while watching the show live, the thought of comparing Fanny's actual age to Sheridan's actual age was the furthest thing from my mind.  If the age were so extreme as to be a distraction (like Carol Channing or Cailey Fleming), then it would be a rather glaring casting error, but the idea that Idina would be a distraction simply due to her age seems ridiculous. 

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Idina Menzel a 'Go' for Funny Girl?#75
Posted: 1/16/20 at 11:30am

Streisand was given HELLO, DOLLY! before she even started filming FUNNY GIRL. In fact, she was already signed for ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER before FUNNY GIRL was even released and her Oscar win. Studios expected her transition to films to be epic as she was already a global phenomenon by the time she made her film debut in the film adaptation of FUNNY GIRL. That’s why she was offered HELLO, DOLLY! though everyone was aware she was way too young for the role. Career wise it made sense. In retrospect, not so much which she admits now 50 years later.