Previews: FUNNY GIRL at Straz Center

The musical runs from November 28 to December 3.

By: Nov. 27, 2023
Previews: FUNNY GIRL at Straz Center
Previews: FUNNY GIRL at Straz Center
First national touring company of Funny Girl. Photo by Matthew Murphy for Murphymade

When Funny Girl hits the Straz stage from November 28 to December 3, past Tampa resident and Blake High School alumni Ryan Lambert will make his hometown debut as John.

Lambert credits his mom, dad, sister, and husband for being the best support system for the Broadway touring actor. He is excited to perform in front of his family and friends and to visit his old high school for a one-on-one master class with the acting students.

"I performed at the Straz in high school, but never a Broadway tour, so I'm super excited to be returning," he said. "I do a tap dance duet in Act Two called 'Rat Tat Tat' with another actor, Lamonte Brown. I understudy the lead. I also do the 'Temporary Arrangement,' which is our big jazz number."

Lambert's approach to getting called to audition for Funny Girl is extremely innovative.

"I put a TikTok out of me tap dancing, saying, hey, I'm asking the universe to connect me to the right people. I would really love to audition for the national tour of Funny Girl. Lo and behold, I connected with the right people and started auditioning. It's been a long-time dream."

Previews: FUNNY GIRL at Straz Center
Ryan Lambert

Lambert uses his social media to share highlights on his pages, @ryanjlambert, on most platforms.

Lambert said the best moments of the show aren't always on stage.

"Traveling the country and meeting the people are the best behind-the-scenes moments. Seeing everyone in the show be happy and live their dream is my favorite part."

He is playing tour guide when the cast is in Tampa, introducing them to Cuban sandwiches and Ybor City.

"There's so much of Tampa to see. I'm excited to show them around."

The Broadway tour of Funny Girl is set to hit the Straz Center tomorrow, bringing the magic of the stage to eager audiences. This iconic musical, which originally premiered on Broadway in 1964, has captivated audiences for decades with its unforgettable characters and timeless story.

Funny Girl follows the life of Fanny Brice, a talented and ambitious young woman from New York's Lower East Side who dreams of making a name for herself in show business. The narrative takes the audience through the highs and lows of Fanny's career, highlighting her comedic prowess and undeniable charm. At its core, the musical explores love, resilience, and pursuing one's dreams.

The show is perhaps best known for its association with the legendary Barbra Streisand, who originated the role of Fanny Brice on Broadway and later won an Academy Award for her portrayal in the film adaptation. The production boasts a stellar cast featuring a talented ensemble that brings the characters to life with energy and authenticity.

"The music is absolutely amazing with songs like 'Don't Rain on My Parade,' 'People,' 'Temporary Arrangement,' and 'Rat Tat Tat.' The songs are stunning, so beautiful, and the lyrics in the show just mean so much. Our Funny Girl lead is out of this world. She is amazing every single. I get to watch it backstage, and I feel I have the best seat in the house," he said. "Everyone should see this show. There's someone for everyone to relate to, whether you're at the beginning or the end of your career. It's a powerful story."

With a perfect blend of humor, heart, and show-stopping musical numbers, Funny Girl promises an evening of entertainment that transcends time. Learn more and get tickets at