Glitz, glitter and glamour: Staged by the musical wizards at the Village Theatre, Funny Girl's got it all. It's a gorgeous production of beautiful music, lavish sets, excellent dancing and a liberal sprinkling of comedy that any kid age 8 or up should enjoy.
Set in New York City around the time of World War I, Funny Girl chronicles singer/comedienne Fanny Brice’s rise to stardom, as well as her stormy relationship with husband Nick Arnstein. This two hour and forty-five minute show is action-packed and moves along quickly.
Fanny Brice wasn’t considered a conventional beauty in her time, but she had loads of self-confidence plus an amazing voice, both qualities that contributed to her popularity in the theater. Sarah Rose Davis captures the spunk and joy of Fanny’s character perfectly, with great comedic timing and a powerhouse voice. The play moves back and forth between scenes set on Henry Street (the location of both Fanny’s home and the saloon her mother owns) to the glamour of the theater.
The performers recreate the lavish Ziegfeld Follies of the early 1900s — often described as a combination of vaudeville variety shows and today’s Broadway — in which elaborately costumed “Ziegfeld girls” parade up and down staircases wearing fancy costumes and tall headdresses. Nothing was too over the top for the Follies; in one scene some girls are even dressed as airplanes! The sets are amazing, from a huge staircase where each step lights up, to the mansion owned by Fannie and Nick.
Most adults will be familiar with the music of Jule Styne with lyrics by Bob Merrill, even if they didn’t realize songs like “People,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” and “Sadie, Sadie” came from this show. The vocals are supported by a full orchestra, adding to the experience. We especially enjoyed the dancing: John Ryan Scott as Eddie Ryan does an amazing tap number, tapping his way up and down a stack of suitcases. Logan Benedict is perfectly cast as the debonair Nick, and Bobbi Kotula as Mrs. Brice is hilarious.
I guarantee you will leave this show smiling and singing songs from the show on your way home.
From my 10-year-old daughter: “The singing was great and the sets were amazing! The wedding scene was funny!”
From my 14-year-old daughter: “The acting was convincing and the singing left me breathless!”
If you go ...
When: Funny Girl plays in Issaquah from May 15–July 6, Wednesday–Sunday with select Tuesdays; and in Everett from July 11-August 3. Tickets range in price from $30–$65. Purchase online. You can also call to purchase tickets: 425-392-2202.
Where: The VillageTheatre is located at 303 Front St. N., Issaquah, Wash.
- The Francis Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah has a soundproof cry room for parents with children less than four years old for those times when a babysitter isn’t available.
- The theater is connected to Fins Bistro, from which adults can preorder cocktails for the 15-minute intermission, you can also pre-order from the dessert menu.
- Bottled water and candy are available for sale in the lobby. Cash only! The theater is near several eateries, including Domino’s Pizza, Confetti Cupcakes, Yum-E Yogurt, and many other choices.
- There is plenty of parking, all within a short walk to the theater: