New Jersey Stage

Thursday, January 6, 2011

4th WALL THEATRE PRESENTS "FUNNY GIRL"

(Bloomfield, NJ) -- 4th Wall Theatre, a non-union professional theatre in Bloomfield, now in its 14th season, presents a concert production of the legendary Broadway musical FUNNY GIRL.  With music by Jule Styne (GYPSY, BELLS ARE RINGING), lyrics by Bob Merrill (CARNIVAL!) and a book by Isobel Lennart, FUNNY GIRL is a classic Broadway crowd-pleaser.

Set against the glamorous Ziegfeld Follies, FUNNY GIRL is a musical valentine of a woman known as stage and screen's "greatest star," Fanny Brice.  The musical details her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nicky Arnstein. The role was made famous on the Broadway stage by Barbra Streisand, who won the role after it was turned down by Mary Martin, Anne Bancroft and Carol Burnett. The role arguably made Streisand more famous than the showgirl she portrayed, and her recording of the song "People" was a hit before the show ever opened.

Always ready to do something a little different, 4th Wall Theatre has chosen no less than seven local actresses (Roxy Arrojo of Jersey City, Mallory Hoernig and Cindy Summers of Bloomfield, Chiara Klein of Scarsdale, New York, Sasha Nosonowitz of New Rochelle, New York, Christian Sineath of New York City and Noelle Tate of Mountainside) to star as Fanny Brice in this concert production.  They are joined by Fernand Roderick of Bayonne who plays Nicky Arnstein, Maggie Letsche of Clifton as Mrs. Brice, Karl Hammerle of River Edge as Eddie Ryan, Jodi Freeman Maloy as Mrs. Strakosh, and Rich Maloy as Florenz Ziegfeld, both of Cedar Grove.  Rounding out the cast are ensemble members Brian James Grace of Clifton, David Juarez of Montclair, Karl Loveland of Metuchen, Bruce McCandless of West Orange and Tom Schopper of Bloomingdale.

The unforgettable score features one showstopper after another, including: "I'm the Greatest Star," "People," "Don't Rain on My Parade" and "The Music That Makes Me Dance."

The concert will be directed by 4th Wall newcomer Josh Penzell, a New York based director with extensive regional credits.  Penzell is also a theatre historian and teacher.  He is joined by Markus Hauck, also of New York, who returns to 4th Wall as the musical director, having previously served as musical director for THE LIFE and ONE HUNDRED YEARS INTO THE HEART with the group.  Martha Thalheimer of Glen Ridge is the Stage Manager, while Alex Thompson of Fair Lawn is the Assistant Stage Manager.

Kate Swan, 4th Wall's Artistic Director, is also serving as the Production Manager for the show.   "FUNNY GIRL just exudes energy and enthusiasm, and what a score!  Unfortunately, it isn't produced that much anymore, so we are pleased to present this musical theatre gem."  Swan continues, "This is 4th Wall's second year of producing a concert version of a musical.  Last year's SWEENEY TODD was well received, and the concert format allows us to present works which might otherwise be cost prohibitive. Also, we love the chance to put a 4th Wall spin on it, thus the multiple Fanny Brices.  We think it will be as exciting for the audience as it has been for the cast!"

FUNNY GIRL runs for three performances only in Bloomfield at the Westminster Center for the Arts on the campus of Bloomfield College: Friday, January 21 at 8PM, Saturday, January 22 at 8PM and Sunday, January 23 at 2PM.  Tickets are $20, $16 for seniors, $15 for students and $12 for groups of 20 or more.  (There is a $1 service charge for all online purchases.)  Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-748-9008 ext. 279. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are accepted. Tickets may also be purchased on-line and additional information is available at www.4thwalltheatre.org.

4th Wall Theatre's 2010-2011 season continues in March, with Wicked Moon – a new musical that will be presented as a staged work-in-progress as part of 4th Wall's M.I.D. (Musicals In Development) Stage Series.  The group closes the season with the Outer Critics award-winning best musical, A Man of No Importance in June 2011.