Ginger Shiksa Lauren Ambrose Taking Funny Girl To Broadway. Our Mom Is Plotzing


To paraphrase Oda Mae Brown in Ghost, Lauren Ambrose, girl, you in trouble.

Now that it’s official Ambrose (Six Feet Under) will be inheriting the mantle of Barbra in the Broadway-bound revival of Funny Girl, all we can think of is that Rachel Berry Lea Michele is gonna take out a hit on the poor girl. No, seriously—cut-brake-cables, toaster-in- the-bathtub-type shit.

When the revival was announced earlier this year Lea seemed like a shoo-in: She’s got the pipes, the Semitic good looks, the Broadway chops—heck, she practically auditioned for the role at the Tony Awards last year. When Ryan Murphy announced Michele would be leaving at the end of next season, it seemed like all but a done deal. Maybe Michele’s alleged diva antics soured producers on the Spring Awakening star?

Ambrose is no newcomer to the stage, though: She’s previously appeared on Broadway in Awake and Sing! and Exit the King and starred in the Shakespeare in the Park productions of Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet. She’s start the role at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theatre on January 14 before the show heads east for a spring 2012 Broadway debut.

“Let’s face it, there is obviously more than a lot to live up to playing Fanny Brice, but I am humbled and thrilled by the opportunity to be a part of this revival,” says Ambrose.  “The character is complex, the music beautiful and challenging.  I can’t wait to get into that rehearsal room with the team [director] Bart [Scherr] is assembling. I wish we could start tomorrow!”

Lauren sweetie, might we suggest you hire someone to start your car for you?


Would you have chosen a different starlet to take on Fanny Brice? Tell us your pick in the comments!


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  • Dennis

    I don’t think she is right for the part.

  • gregger

    It’s called Non-traditional casting. Ask Actors Equity about it. Does anyone remember the Miss Saigon debacle?

    I’d rather work with someone who is a total pro and talent power-house than a little shrew who has never learned that the people you piss on going up the ladder are the ones that will piss on you as you fall. BTW, funny that you have another problem child beneath the article, her career now doesn’t seem to be defying gravity.

    Too bad for Lea Michele and a others.

  • christopher di spirito

    I didn’t know Lauren Ambrose could sing? Well, good for her.

    As for Lea Michele, she’s adorable, and has a pleasant, hits-all-the-right-notes voice but her singing style isn’t exactly dynamic. She may love Le Streisand but she’s not right for the part.

  • gregger

    @christopher di spirito: Check out Psycho Beach Party. At the end of the movie Lauren has an amazing performance.

    As for Michele, I look at her and think two words, “mean c*nt.”

  • christopher di spirito

    @gregger: Cool. I’ll look for this clip on You Tube. I keep hearing Lea Michele is a major pain in Ryan Murphy’s ass. A real Diva and this is why he wants her to graduate and leave GLEE. Her Diva behavior could be why B’Way doesn’t want her for ‘Funny Girl.’

  • One of the CA 36,000

    Lauren Ambrose is a brilliant young actress AND a singer with a strong legit mezzo-soprano voice. She actually did think about pursuing an opera career at one point, and she has the chops to do it.

    Lea Michele, bless her mousy little heart, doesn’t seem capable of portraying the chutzpah and sly smarts necessary to be Fanny Brice.

    Lauren Ambrose? She can do it in her sleep. “Psycho Beach Party” shows off her versatility. It’s intriguing casting, and she’ll make it work.

  • gregger

    @One of the CA 36,000: Right on!! I would watch Ambrose do virtually any piece of work, she is a TALENT.

  • Pickles55

    It keeps coming up so I have to wonder, do people REALLY not know that plenty of Jews are natural red heads? Ginger is not just for Gentiles.

    I think Lauren will rock the part.

    Excited to see her performance.

  • Ruddigore

    Lauren Ambrose may have played quirky in the past, but I don’t see her playing the awkwardness of Fanny Bryce in Act I. When she auditions for Mr. Keeney, she would easily get into the chorus line, not have to proove herself with “I’m The Greatest Star”. Other “pretty” women have played Fanny in the past and it never worked. They put glasses on Carol Lawrence to make her “ugly”, and I saw the Pia Zadora version which was even less believable.

  • SpireaX

    Lauren Ambrose is fine choice. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. She’s got the chops and acting skills. Besides, Lea Michele needs to do something OTHER than a role we all know she can phone in.

  • gregger

    @Ruddigore: A magnificent as Carol Lawrence was in her prime she could not act the part. Pia Zadora, while a nice person with a great voice, had no talent what so ever.

  • catinhat

    This is a terrible idea, possibly the worst casting in many moons. She may have a passable voice and a history of supporting roles, but she has no star power.

  • Alexa

    This is great. Love Funny Girl, love Lauren Ambrose, will go see this for sure. Can’t wait.

  • K in VA

    Actually, it makes sense: There’s only one Barbra. Anyone with any similarities would only suffer from the comparison, so it makes perfect sense to cast someone very different.

  • Riker

    This reminds me of another casting faux pas – Sarah Jessica Parker in Once Upon a Mattress. She was too pretty for Winifred (and not very funny either, but that’s another story). Fanny Brice had a rubbery comic face, and was very Yiddish theatre. Well, Lauren is a good actor, so let’s hope for the best…

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