Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher has been tapped by producer Bob Boyett to direct the first-ever Broadway revival of Funny Girl, according to The New York Times. Boyett, who holds the rights to the musical, said that the production will have a six-week out-of-town tryout in late 2011 and then move to Broadway. “I don’t have any other details,” Boyett told the Times. “Nothing is really pulled together except Bart Sher.”
Featuring music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and a book by Isobel Lennart, Funny Girl opened on Broadway on March 26, 1964, starring Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice and Sydney Chaplin as her true love, Nick Arnstein. The show ran at three theaters for a total of 1,348 performances, closing on July 1, 1967. Memorable songs include “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “I’m the Greatest Star” and “People.”
Speculation immediately centers on casting of the title character, which earned Streisand an Oscar for the movie version. (She lost the 1964 Best Actress Tony to Hello, Dolly! star Carol Channing; Funny Girl was nominated for a total of eight Tonys and didn’t win any.) Asked about Broadway vet Lea Michele, who performed “Don’t Rain on My Parade” on Glee earlier this season, Boyett said, “I think Lea is wonderful, she’s great, and she would certainly be on anybody’s list. She’s also got a pretty good gig going now. There have been a few Hollywood types who have expressed interest, but we’re also open to going with an unknown actress.”
Sher received a Best Director Tony Award for the current revival of South Pacific and was nominated for Tonys for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Awake and Sing! and The Light in the Piazza.