The producers of Funny Girl, the classic Broadway musical, announced principal casting for the North American Tour, and it features Grammy-Award® winning singer-songwriter, Melissa Manchester as Mrs. Brice. I’ve never seen this musical or Melissa in a musical, so this pairing is kismet. The show will visit more than 30 cities, including Philadelphia, and you can bet I’ll be giving my friend Melissa a standing ovation when she’s in the City of Brotherly Love. Below are all the details about this fabulous news.
The producers of FUNNY GIRL, the sensational musical comedy revival, are thrilled to announce principal casting for the North American Tour. The cast will feature Grammy-Award® winning singer-songwriter, Melissa Manchester as Mrs. Brice, and introduce Katerina McCrimmon as Fanny Brice. They will be joined by Stephen Mark Lukas as Nick Arnstein, Izaiah Montaque Harris as Eddie Ryan, Walter Coppage as Florenz Ziegfeld, Leah Platt as Emma/Mrs. Nadler, Christine Bunuan as Mrs. Meeker, Eileen T’Kaye as Mrs. Strakosh, and David Foley Jr. as Tom Keeney. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Manchester has been an icon in the music industry since the 1970s, best known for celebrated songs such as “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” and “Through The Eyes Of Love” (Ice Castles). In her national tour debut, McCrimmon steps into the role of Fanny Brice, on the heels of becoming a YoungArts Winner in Theater and a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
“Fans have adored Melissa throughout her 50-year musical career, and Katerina is a star in the making who embodies the rising stardom of Fanny. We could not be more thrilled to have this dynamic and talented duo lead the FUNNY GIRL tour,” said director and Tony® Award winner Michael Mayer.
The tour will officially open at Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, RI, from September 9-16, 2023, before continuing on to more than 30 cities coast-to-coast, including Detroit, Cleveland, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Dallas, and Philadelphia. For casting, additional tour cities, and more information, visit funnygirlonbroadway.com/tour.
The “vivacious and delightfully glitzy” (Vogue) Broadway revival features iconic songs, including “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” “I’m the Greatest Star,” and “People.” Breaking box office records week after week and receiving unanimous raves on Broadway, this bittersweet comedy is the story of the indomitable Fanny Brice. As a girl from the Lower East Side who dreamed of a life on the stage, everyone told her she’d never be a star, but then something funny happened—she became one of the most beloved performers in history, shining brighter than the brightest lights of Broadway. The Observer describes the revival as “sparkling and explosively entertaining!”
FUNNY GIRL is directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and features the classic score by Tony, Grammy, and Academy® Award winner Jule Styne and lyrics by Tony Award nominee and Grammy Award winner Bob Merrill, (comprising additional songs from Styne & Merrill). The original book by Isobel Lennart, from an original story by Miss Lennart, is revised by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Newsies).
FUNNY GIRL features choreography by Ellenore Scott (Falsettos); tap choreography by Ayodele Casel; scenic design by Tony Award winner David Zinn (SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical); costume design by Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty (Wicked); lighting design by Tony Award winner Kevin Adams (Hedwig and the Angry Inch); sound design by Tony Award winner Brian Ronan (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) and Cody Spencer; hair and wig design by Campbell Young Associates; music supervision by Emmy Award winner Michael Rafter; casting by Jim Carnahan, CSA, and Jason Thinger; orchestrations by Chris Walker; dance, vocal, and incidental music arrangements by Alan Williams, and additional arrangements by David Dabbon and Carmel Dean. The associate director is Johanna McKeon; the associate choreographer is Jeffrey Gugliotti; the assistant director is Torya Beard; the assistant tap choreographer is Dre Torres.
The FUNNY GIRL tour stage management team is led by production stage manager Jovon Shuck and is supported by Stage Manager Stacey Taylor and assistant stage manager Mariah Young. The company management team is led by company manager Justin Sweeney with assistant company manager Ryan Mayfield. The tour music director/conductor is Elaine Davidson.
The FUNNY GIRL tour is produced by NETworks Presentations in special arrangement with Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Landis and David Babani.
The Broadway production of FUNNY GIRL began performances at the August Wilson Theatre on March 22, 2022, with the official opening on April 24, 2022, where it will continue its record-breaking run through September 3, 2023. Sonia Friedman, Scott Landis, and David Babani together with Gemini Theatrical, Accidental Jacket, and Sony Masterworks Broadway released FUNNY GIRL – New Broadway Cast Recording, which is now available wherever you stream music. Produced by David Caddick and David Lai and featuring the classic score by Jule Styne (music) and Bob Merrill (lyrics), the album is co-produced by Sonia Friedman, Scott Landis, David Babani, Michael Mayer, Brian Gillet, Huck Walton, Sean Keller, and Marc Levine. The album is executively produced by Evan McGill and the associate producers are Joanna Drowos, Abby Green, and PickleStar Theatricals.
KATERINA McCRIMMON (Fanny Brice) is a proud Cuban-American from Miami, and she’s thrilled to be playing Fanny in this dazzling production. Broadway: The Rose Tattoo (Roundabout Theatre Company). Other NY Theater: The Light in the Piazza (New York City Center Encores!). Regional: AZUL (The Eugene O’Neill Center), Ride the Cyclone (McCarter Theatre Center), Ah, Wilderness! (Hartford Stage). Katerina is a YoungArts Winner in Theater, a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and received her BM in Musical Theatre from Florida State University.
MELISSA MANCHESTER (Mrs. Brice) returns to the theatrical stage to celebrate a versatile 50-year career. With 19 Billboard charted hits including “Midnight Blue” and “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” the GRAMMY-Award winning singer/songwriter was the first artist to have two Oscar-nominated songs in the same year, received the NARAS Governor’s Award and is in the Great American Songbook Foundation’s Hall of Fame. National tours: Song & Dance (Emma), Music Of The Night (Lead). Film: For The Boys (Corrine). TV: Blossom (Maddy Russo). Her 25th album, RE:VIEW, is due to release in 2024.
STEPHEN MARK LUKAS (Nick Arnstein) is thrilled to bring Funny Girl to audiences across North America after understudying the role in the Broadway revival. Broadway: Funny Girl, The Book of Mormon. Regional: Beauty and the Beast (Gaston), Damn Yankees (Joe Hardy), Oklahoma! (Curly), South Pacific (Lt. Cable), Camelot (Lancelot), and Guys & Dolls (Sky Masterson). TV: Gossip Girl and FBI: Most Wanted.
IZAIAH MONTAQUE HARRIS (Eddie Ryan). Since being put in tap classes taught by his mother as a child, he has learned to shine from Chicago to NY. Recent highlights: NY City Center’s Artists at the Center, Riverdance, The Tap Dance Kid, After Midnight (Tap Mathematician). BTA Award for Outstanding Actor, Jeff Award for Best Ensemble, Jacob’s Pillow Alumni, MADD Rhythms.
WALTER COPPAGE (Florenz Ziegfeld). Select theatre credits include: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, The Curious Incident…, Radio Golf, The Royale, A Christmas Carol, Pride & Prejudice, Fences, To Kill A Mockingbird, Master Harold And The Boys, Hamlet, The Mountaintop, Water By The Spoonful, The Clean House, Ruined, Our Town, The Miracle Worker. Select TV credits include: Somebody Somewhere, Chicago Med, Leverage: Redemption, Black Mafia Family, The Chi, 61st St, The Shining Girls, Detroiters, Sprung. Select film credits include: All Creatures Here Below, Jayhawkers.
LEAH PLATT (Emma/Mrs. Nadler). Leah most recently performed across the country as Tzeitel in the first national tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Recent credits include: Which Way to the Stage (Signature Theatre); Frozen (Disney Cruise Line); The Prom (White Plains PAC); The Marvelous Wonderettes (The Palace Theater). She is a graduate of Northwestern University.
CHRISTINE BUNUAN (Mrs. Meeker). National tours include: Miss Saigon (Gigi,) and …Spelling Bee. Chicago Theatre credits include: Goodman, Paramount, Northlight, Marriott Lincolnshire, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Chicago, Shakespeare, Silk Road Rising, TimeLine, and more.
EILEEN T’KAYE (Mrs. Strakosh). Recent credits include A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Anne Marie, ICT), and Sisters in Law (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, World Premiere-Phoenix Theatre). Other regional include: Coney Island Christmas and A Funny Thing Happened… (Geffen Playhouse); Wing on Wing and The Rehearsal (Disney Hall); Collected Stories (CV Rep); Doubt and Other Desert Cities (ICT); The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife (La Mirada); The Fantasticks (Reprise!). Eileen is also an award-winning producer and Founding Producing Director of Boston Court Pasadena.
DAVID FOLEY, JR. (Tom Keeney). Select New York/touring credits: The Phantom of the Opera (Reyer, Firmin), Forbidden Broadway, and the title ogre in Shrek The Musical. Favorite regional: Oz (L. Frank Baum, freeFall Theatre Company), Finding Nemo: The Musical (Marlin, WDW), and Guys in Dolls (Nathan, Kevin Kline Award nomination, Best Actor). TV/Film: The Flight Before Christmas (Hallmark), Broadcasting Christmas (Lifetime). 2023 MAC Award nominee (Manhattan Association of Cabarets, Best Male Performer).
For more information, visit https://www.funnygirlonbroadway.com/tour/.
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