Cannavale Nabs Plum Arnstein Role
Here’s another major casting announcement for the eagerly anticipated upcoming Broadway revival of “Funny Girl,” which begins its pre-Broadway run in February 2012 at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theatre. Joining the previously announced Lauren Ambrose (of “Six Feet Under’ fame), who will star in the coveted role of vaudeville legend Fanny Brice in this first Broadway revisit to the Jule Styne classic is two-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale.
This versatile actor will take the male romantic lead role opposite Ambrose, that of Brice’s flashy gambler husband Nick Arnstein, a role played by Sydney Chaplin in the original 1964 Broadway production, and by Omar Sharif in the 1968 film adaptation. Each of these leading men played opposite Barbra Streisand in a role strongly associated with her, which earned her an Oscar in her film debut. Cannavale seems an ideal fit for the character of the charismatic fast-talker who wins Brice's heart. It will be interesting to see Ambrose and Cannavale put their own stamps on these indelible roles in this bittersweet romantic tale.
Cannavale, a member of the LAByrinth Theater Company, made his Tony-nominated Broadway debut in 2007 in Theresa Rebeck’s “Mauritius.” Last season, he starred in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “The Motherf**ker with the Hat,” netting another Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award. His myriad television appearances include his Emmy winning recurring role in NBC’s “Will & Grace,” Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and the starring role in ABC’s “Cupid.” He boasts many distinguished film credits as well.
This “Funny Girl” promises to be the stellar musical attraction in L.A. for 2012, and should generate similar excitement when it moves on for its long-awaited homecoming to Broadway, after an absence of nearly five decades.
-- Les Spindle