'Funny Girl' revival postponed indefinitely for L.A. and Broadway
The highly anticipated revival of "Funny Girl" that was set to open in early 2012 at the Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. before transferring to Broadway in April has been put on indefinite hold, organizers announced late Thursday.
The culprit, it appears, is the weak economic climate that has made it difficult to raise money for the show. Bob Boyett, the lead producer, said in a statement that the production would have required $12 million, "making it one of the most expensive revivals in Broadway history."
A spokesman for the production said the decision to pull the plug was made by the show's New York producers and that the decision was made Thursday afternoon. The producers, he said, alerted Michael Ritchie, the artistic director of L.A.'s Center Theatre Group, about the decision.
The spokesman said that rehearsals had not begun for "Funny Girl" and that the cast, including Lauren Ambrose and Bobby Cannavale, was alerted Thursday. Ambrose was cast as Fanny Brice and Cannavale as Nick Arnstein.
Ritchie was traveling Thursday, but CTG issued a statement from him. "We're obviously disappointed by this news but we’re already hard at work to find a replacement for 'Funny Girl.'" he said. A spokeswoman for CTG had no further information.
Boyett, in his statement, said, "I am deeply saddened by this decision, but I, along with the finest group of co-producers I have ever had the pleasure to work with, Sonia Friedman, Jean Doumanian, Stacey Mindich and Tim Levy, determined that this was not the right time to bring 'Funny Girl' to the stage."
"Funny Girl" was supposed to begin previews at the Ahmanson on Jan. 15 with an official opening scheduled for Feb. 1. Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher ("South Pacific") was slated to stage the production.
-- David Ng
Photo: The Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. Credit: Center Theatre Group