Saturday, March 2, 2024
Main PageTheatrical

Funny Girl Makes its Debut at The Fabulous Fox Theatre in Saint Louis

Katerina McCrimmon and Izaiah Montaque Harris in the National Tour of Funny Girl – Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

–by Shannon Mills

Funny Girl opened on a rainy Tuesday night, January 23rd at The Fabulous Fox Theatre in Saint Louis. The audience, generally an older crowd, was not going to let a little weather rain on their parade! The iconic 1964 musical has finally made it to the Fabulous Fox stage and the new revival is well worth the wait.

First National Touring Company of Funny Girl – Photo By Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

Inspired by the true-life story of the famous comedienne, Fanny Brice, “Funny Girl” centers on Fanny Brice’s rise to stardom from vaudeville thru the Ziegfeld Follies and her bittersweet romance with the charming, hustler, Nick Arnstein. This musical established Barbara Streisand as a major Broadway star when she accepted the career making role of Fanny Brice. As I looked around the theater, I saw an audience that would certainly associate Barbara Streisand in the leading role and how she carried that show. Tonight’s leading lady had a lot to live up to and she certainly did.

Christine-Bunuan-Barbara-Tirrell-and-Eileen-TKaye-in-the-National-Tour-of-Funny-Girl-Photo-by-Larry-Marano

Katerina McCrimmon (Fanny Brice) is a magnetic presence on the stage. Her commanding voice soars and fills the theater. She is especially impressive during the powerful performances of “People” and “Don’t rain on my Parade”. Her quick wit and comedic timing are impeccable, and we get to experience that throughout the first act. My favorite bit was “His Love Makes Me Beautiful”. After an argument with the owner of the Ziegfeld Follies, Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. (Walter Coppage), Fanny changes the romantic song into a satirical comedy because Mr. Ziegfeld demands her to sing the song he has chosen. Amid Ziegfeld’s beautiful chorus girls, Fanny reveals herself as a pregnant bride lamenting ‘I am a beautiful reflection of my love’s affection’. It is hilarious!

Izaiah Montaque Harris in the National Tour of Funny Girl – Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

Another standout within this cast is Izaiah Montaque Harris (Eddie Ryan). Eddie is a dance coach who helps Fanny break into vaudeville but is also a true friend. Exuding charisma, Izaiah breaks the fourth wall with the audience and shows off some seriously slick tapping skills. It’s been a while since I have seen this much tap (solos and ensemble) in a show, and I really liked it.

Stephen-Mark-Lukas-and-Company-in-the-National-Tour-of-Funny-Girl-Photo-by-Matthew-Murphy-for-MurphyMade

The second act is a lot less comical as we dive into the difficulties within Fanny and Nick Arnstein’s (Stephen Mark Lukas) relationship. The show ends with a powerful reprise of “‘Don’t rain on my parade” as Fanny lifts herself up from the anguish of her failed romance and steers her way back to the stage and the audience that always loves her.

Katerina McCrimmon as Fanny Brice in the National Tour of Funny Girl – Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Don’t miss your chance to see this show as it debuts for the first time on the Fabulous Fox stage! Funny Girl runs from January 23rd through February 4th. Tickets range from $25 to $95 and can be purchased online at FabulousFox.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *