We discover what critics have had to say about the Broadway revival of this musical starring  Beanie Feldstein and Ramin Karimloo.

New York Post: “the revival could be a whole lot better than the uninvolving stroll that director Michael Mayer has turned it into. High jinks, romance, heartbreak, Brooklyn, Broadway and Monte Carlo are all liquified into a tasteless goo. There’s hardly any variation to be found. Showstoppers don’t stop the show. Fanny and Nick grow on paper, yet they flatline where it counts most — live onstage.”

Variety: “The rest of the cast lend fine support. Jane Lynch as Franny’s loving, wry mother is splendid and lands every laugh with the greatest of ease. If the part of Fanny’s faithful pal Eddie is sorely underwritten, Jared Grimes at least has a terrific showcase tap number, choreographed by Ayodele Casel.”

Hollywood Reporter: “The revival’s shortcomings by no means rest entirely on Feldstein’s shoulders. Neither director Michael Mayer nor script doctor Harvey Fierstein has solved the problems of the creaky book, which can’t build Fanny’s longing for offstage romantic fulfillment to match her professional success — and her eventual showbiz survivor resilience — into a robust through line. The show feels patchy and episodic and it needs a knockout, roof-raising lead to paper over the cracks.”

Deadline: “As a singer, she’s not the belter that Funny Girl so often needs – Feldstein’s vocal delivery can be reedy and, at times, slightly nasal – but her tones are clear and strong enough to give “People” its poignance and “Parade” its marching drive. Her “Nicky Arnstein” displays a natural comic timing that in the non-musical stretches can seem pushed.”

New York Theater: “Feldstein, whose only previous Broadway credit was in the 2017 revival of “Hello, Dolly” as a minor lead, nails three musical numbers in “Funny Girl” – “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat” and the finale — that allow us to glimpse the star quality that the production must have been banking on. The three other leads who are listed above the title hold their own: Both Jane Lynch as Fanny’s mother and Ramin Karimloo as Fanny’s dashing but disreputable husband give their usual stellar performances, and Jared Grimes, as Fanny’s friend and advocate Eddie Ryan, is so good, especially in several thrilling tap-dance numbers, that he may be the one cast member who emerges from this production a star.”

LA Times: “Mayer’s production is most alive in those moments when Broadway virtuosity breaks out in the supporting cast. The tap-dancing of Jared Grimes, who plays Eddie Ryan, the dance coach who raises Fanny’s game, injects the revival with a resuscitating dose of theatrical joy.”

The Observer: “Despite all, there’s much to divert: hearing Styne’s glorious music under the baton of Michael Rafter; plentiful, joy-giving tap numbers choreographed by Ayodele Casel; eye-popping scenery by David Zinn that combines the bricks and steel of Brooklyn slums with the glossy limelight of Broadway; and racks of gorgeous costumes for both Follies girls and poker-playing ladies devised by Susan Hilferty.”

Time Out: ** “This revival has its pleasures, notably in the dancing: As Fanny’s hapless would-be suitor, Jared Grimes tap-dances up a few brief storms, and the chorus, festooned in wittily over-the-top costumes and headdresses, delivers the show’s Follies pastiche numbers with aplomb. (The choreography is by Ellenore Scott and Ayodele Casel.) It’s also an attractive production, thanks to Kevin Adams’s lighting, Susan Hilferty’s marvelous costumes—Feldstein looks fab throughout—and David Zinn’s well-imagined set, whose central cylindrical tower of brick opens up to reveal a suite of other spaces. But you know a production of Funny Girl hasn’t clicked when you leave thinking, Well, at least it was pretty.”

The Wrap: “The revised book doesn’t fix the fact that the star becomes a reactive character in the second act. Also, Feldstein never convinces us that she has suddenly become a diva. The new second act does manage to make Arnstein a character worth watching, and this production is enhanced by Karimloo’s charismatic performance. It helps immensely that he reprises “People” briefly and goes on to sing “Funny Girl.” Karimloo left me unimpressed after his dull, braying performance in 2016’s “Anastasia” on Broadway. His vocals here display a far more impressive singing voice and are among the show’s highlights.”

Washington Post: “It has taken guts for Feldstein to step into those proverbial shoes and sing and dance in them onstage at the August Wilson Theatre, where director Michael Mayer’s splashy Broadway revival, the first, had its official opening Sunday night. (On Streisand’s 80th birthday, no less.) One admires the pluck — an essential attribute when playing a character whose introductory number is titled “I’m the Greatest Star.” Rather than incandescent, though, Feldstein’s star turn is an earthbound achievement, best when she’s executing the comedy aspect of musical comedy, and less compelling at the music part.”

Miami Herald: “Feldstein’s Brice is earthy, saucy, physical — a lovable underdog. She may not posses Bab’s vocal prowess, but she radiates the hunger, wry humor and fragility to be an unlikely heroine for a new generation. Her opening line is a classic and she owns it: “Hello, gorgeous,” she says to the mirror.”

Talkin Broadway: “When you are dealing with an outsize character like Fanny Brice, a certain amount of chutzpah comes in handy. But to be effective, that kind of audacity needs to have a big payoff, with something genuine beneath the projection of self-confidence. But, like the penny-ante card games that Mrs. Brice and her cronies indulge in back on Henry Street, sometimes it is time to call a bluff. I’m calling it.”

New York Theatre Guide: “In the end, Broadway’s new Funny Girl feels like a musical comedy promise left unfulfilled. We’re told more than once that Fanny is hilarious and one-of-a-kind, but proof of that side-splitting singularity doesn’t materialize. So you long for something quirkier, zanier, more out-there and surprising. In short: Girl, show me the funny.”

Theatre Mania: “Of course, Funny Girl is one of the few shows where a middling lead performance dents the plot. Feldstein entertains with her wide-eyed, goofy antics, mugging to the audience at every turn and hitting all the “oys” in her Yiddishisms with extra gusto in her wandering Brooklyn accent. It’s broad and campy, and often succeeds in landing the laugh. Her shtick, however, feels more grasping than authentically character driven.”


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