Oakbrook Terrace Presents The Classic Musical Comedy Hit FUNNY GIRL, 12/31-3/7

Rounding out their 2009-10 smash hit season, Drury Lane Oakbrook presents the 1964 classic Broadway musical comedy FUNNY GIRL.  Based on the life of Ziegfeld Follies comedienne Fanny Brice, FUNNY GIRL will be co-directed by Gary Griffin and William Osetek.  Griffin serves as the Associate Producer at Drury Lane Oakbrook.  He has directed Broadway’s THE COLOR PURPLE as well as numerous other productions in London, New York and Chicago.  Griffin is an eight time Jeff Award winner.  William Osetek currently serves as Drury Lane Oakbrook’s Artistic Director, and has directed numerous productions at the theater, most recently having directed THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE.   FUNNY GIRL previews December 31, opens January 7 and runs through March 7.

Sara Sheperd will star as “Fanny Brice”.  Sheperd recently starred in the ensemble in CRY-BABY, THE MUSICAL on Broadway as well as “Kate/Chutney” in the first National Tour of LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL.  Emmy nominated actor Paul Anthony Stewart will star as “Nick Arnstein”.  He has starred as “Perchik” in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF on Broadway as well as “Christian” in CYRANO on Broadway.

With a book by Isobel Lennart and a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, FUNNY GIRL is the semi-biographical story of Broadway singer and comedienne Fanny Brice.  The musical chronicles her fortunes as she rises from humble Lower East Side beginnings to the heights of stardom in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies during World War I.  As Fanny finds success in show business, her personal life is complicated by a stormy relationship with debonair con artist and inveterate gambler Nick Arnstein.  Punctuating a journey that is both comic and poignant, the tuneful score includes the iconic standards “People” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” along with “I Am the Greatest Star,” “Sadie, Sadie,” and “His Love Makes Me Beautiful.”

The Tony Award-nominated Broadway production opened on March 26, 1964 at the Winter Garden Theatre and ran for 1,348 performances. The original cast featured Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice, with Sydney Chaplin as Nicky, Kay Medford as Mrs. Brice, Danny Meehan as Eddie Ryan and Jean Stapleton as Mrs. Strakosh.  Streisand reprised her role in the 1968 movie version opposite Omar Sharif, winning a Best Actress Oscar (an honor she shared with Katharine Hepburn for “The Lion in Winter”), and played Fanny again in the 1975 film sequel, “Funny Lady.”

Joining Sara Sheperd as “Fanny Brice” and Paul Anthony Stewart as “Nick Arnstein” will be Catherine Smitko as “Mrs. Brice”, Marc Grapey as “Florenz Ziegfeld”, Jameson Cooper as “Eddie Ryan”, Iris Lieberman as “Mrs. Strakosh”, Tammy Mader as “Emma”, Mary Mulligan as “Mrs. O’Malley”, Holly Stauder as “Mrs. Meeker” and ensemble members Michael Accardo, Anne Acker, Adrian Aguilar, Gary Carlson, Dan Collins, Jarret Ditch, Ariane Dolan, Patrick Gagnon, Kent Haina, Nicole Hren, Katie Patton, Megan Simmons, Joey Stone, Erin Thompson and Zach Zube.
FUNNY GIRL will be directed by Gary Griffin, Choreographed by Matt Raftery and Musical Direction will be by Ben Johnson.  Set Design is by Jack Magaw, Costume Design is by Elizabeth Flauto, Lighting Design is by Jesse Klug, Sound Design is by Ray Nardelli and Properties Design is by Michelle Warner.

The performance schedule is as follows:  Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. ($29), Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. ($29) and 8 p.m. ($33), Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ($38), Saturdays at 5 p.m. ($38) and 8:30 p.m. ($38) and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. ($38) and 6 p.m. ($36).  Lunch and dinner theater packages range from $43.75 to $61 depending on the day of the week.  Subscriptions for the hit 2010, 5 show season start at $131. 

Student tickets start as low as $19 and Senior Citizen tickets start as low as $26 for matinees and $40.75 for a matinee luncheon package.  For reservations, phone (630) 530-0111 or call TicketMaster at 312.559.1212. You may also visit www.ticketmaster.com or www.drurylaneoakbrook.com.

Drury Lane Oakbrook is located at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, IL.

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