Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Previews: FUNNY GIRL at Candlelight Music Theatre

Aisle Say - your bottomless cistern of institutional theatrical memory in Delaware - cannot recall if FUNNY GIRL has ever been performed here. That's good for a number of reasons: it is an opportunity to see the vehicle that made Streisand; to celebrate Fanny Brice, one of the great comediennes in history (although fictionalized somewhat); to hear "People" and, finally, that the rental license to stage the show gave Candlelight a financial balance to their next production, the very popular and tres expensive BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

The show opened on Brdway in 1964. The backstory is as fascinating as its success. It was produced by Ray Stark, who was married to Fannie's daughter. He had commissioned a screenplay on her life. Mary Martin (Peter Pan) read it and wanted to play Fannie. He went to Sondheim to write the lyrics for the musical. Sondheim's reply? "I don't want to do the life of Fanny Brice with Mary Martin. She's not Jewish. You need someone ethnic for the part."

Then they went to Anne Bancroft and then Edie Gorme. Edie said okay but demanded that hubby Steve Lawrence be Nick Arnstein. That was a non-starter.

Streisand was performing in Greenwich Village and Stark went to see her. She was cast. She rebelled against the fabled Director Garson Kanin because he wanted "People" cut. Hallo! La Barbra's temperament is of Hollywood legend.

FUNNY GIRL was nominated for 8 Tony's. Unfortunately for them, this was the same year as HELLO DOLLY.

Aisle Say is happy to see Candlelight veteran Tori Healy in the title role. She's earned her stripes. Tori is one of the funniest people to grace a stage. (PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN come to mind.) In every show she is extraordinary and an indisputable hoot to boot.

Paul McElwee is Nick Arnstein, the charming and sophisticated gambler Fanny falls for and eventually marries. The production is directed by Renee Dobson and features Barry Gomolka as Florenz Ziegfeld; Rosemary Benson as Mrs. Brice, Fanny's mother; and Brett Anderson as Eddie Ryan.

Other memorable tunes in the show include "Don't Rain On My Parade", "I'm The Greatest Star" and "The Music That Makes Me Dance".

Candlelight remains the greatest bargain in dinner and theater, bar none.

Sept 16 thru Oct 18 Candlelighttheatredelaware.com 302.475.2313



Possum Point Players Raffle Off Unique Possums As They Celebrate 50 Years Of Theatre Photo
During the year of 50th Anniversary celebrations, those who attend Possum Point Players mainstage productions have a chance to win aa collector's item from that show. Well known and honored as a costume mistress extraordinaire, Louise Hartzell creates and contributes a hand-made and custom dressed possum for each of the five shows of the 50th.

Possum Point Players BIG RIVER: The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Begins Next Week Photo
Possum Point Players' Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn tickets are available now. One matinee is sold out and sales for all shows are heavy.

Possum Point Players Presents SOCIAL SECURITY in June Photo
Possum Point Players present Social Security by Andrew Bergman. Performances run June 2-11.

THE BOOK OF MORMON Announces $25 Ticket Lottery For Wilmington Engagement Photo
THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, has announced a lottery ticket policy in Wilmington playing at The Playhouse on Rodney Square March 10-12, 2023.


From This Author - Greer Firestone

Greer Firestone has been reviewing professional theatre for 35 years. As a playwright he wrote and produced JUDY GARLAND "Wor... (read more about this author)


Review: SISTER ACT at Candlelight Music TheatreReview: SISTER ACT at Candlelight Music Theatre
February 27, 2023

Having the privilege of reviewing Candlelight Theatre for years, the once community theatre has morphed into a fully professional troupe. Over the past 3 years, Aisle Say has witnessed productions there that absolutely rival non-equity touring shows staged at The Playhouse.

Previews: ANASTASIA at The PlayhousePreviews: ANASTASIA at The Playhouse
February 1, 2023

Wilmington resident and theatre veteran Gerri Weagraff comes to The Playhouse as the Dowager Empress in the national tour of ANASTASIA. Six performances from February 9 – 12. Music and lyrics are by the award-winning team of Flaherty and Ahrens (RAGTIME, SUESSICAL THE MUSICAL and ONCE ON THIS ISLAND) with a book written by Broadway legend Terrance McNally.

Review: IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS at Candlelight Music TheatreReview: IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS at Candlelight Music Theatre
November 28, 2022

After a stellar run of showstoppers and extraordinary, electric entertainment in 2022, Candlelight returns to the seasonal theme of sentimental and saccharine with Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS The Musical. Sentimentality and nostalgia are good. And, the venue is to be applauded for staging this show. It’s good box office. IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMA at Candlelight Music Theatre.

Previews: HAIRSPRAY at The PlayhousePreviews: HAIRSPRAY at The Playhouse
November 21, 2022

When it opened on Broadway in 2002, HAIRSPRAY won an extraordinary eight Tony awards. Its popularity has never waned and the tour will visit The Playhouse on December 1-4.

Review: MEMPHIS at Candlelight Music TheatreReview: MEMPHIS at Candlelight Music Theatre
October 9, 2022

What did our critic think oHockadoo! MEMPHIS, The Musical, running at Candlelight through October 30, is a compelling show in many respects. Memphis is the story of Huey Calhoun (loosely based on real-life 1950s disc jockey Dewey Phillips) and his mission to bring blues and soul music to a white southern audience in a VERY segregated Memphis. Huey optimistically believes that music can transcend race, and with him on his journey is aspiring singer Felicia Farrell. The two fall in love, but must contend with social barriers, a prejudiced mother, and an overprotective brother. f MEMPHIS at Candlelight Music Theatre?