The Shmooze

Lauren Ambrose Named the Next ‘Funny Girl’

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

The role that launched Barbra Streisand has been recast — and it didn’t go to the Jewish heir apparent.

The next Broadway production of “Funny Girl” will star Lauren Ambrose as Fanny Brice, the real-life Jewish comedian whom Streisand played during the show’s original 1964 Broadway run.

The role, which earned Streisand a Tony nomination and later an Oscar for the film version, has been the source of considerable speculation in recent months, as the search has intensified for the star of the new staging. Bartlett Sher, the Tony-winning director of the new show, has said he was looking for an “unforgettably thrilling voice… a once-in-a-generation talent [with] excellent comedic timing.”

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