Everybody knows two things about “Funny Girl,” the 1964 musical that the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre opens on Thursday.
First, it contains the song “People,” as in, “People who need people.” Second, it made a star out of Barbra Streisand.
However, it might be more accurate to say that Barbra Streisand made a hit out of “Funny Girl.” When this Jule Styne-Bob Merrill musical first opened on Broadway in March 1964, the reviews of the show were mediocre at best. The reviews of Streisand, though, were spectacular.
“This young woman is a joy on any stage,” wrote Norman Nadel of the New York World-Telegram and Sun on opening night. “A spontaneous comedian, a big-voiced, belting singer and a brass gong of a personality, she sets an audience tingling, time and time again.”
An outstanding Streisand was enough to make what some considered a mediocre show into a long-running smash (1,348 performances) and a hit movie in 1968. The story of Fanny Brice, the Ziegfeld Follies comedienne, became one of the best-known musicals of the 1960s.
However, it has rarely been revived since then, because it takes a rare talent to fill Streisand’s shoes.
The people at the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre believe they have that talent in Jennifer Niederloh, one of the shining stars of last year’s CdA Summer Theatre season. Niederloh was excellent in everything she appeared in last year, especially as the blond bombshell Hope Langdon in “Something’s Afoot.”
Other main roles will be played by Matt Flanders, Bobbi Kotula and Frank Jewett. Maureen Gri is the director.
The show opens Thursday and continues Aug. 4-6, 10-12. All shows are at 8 p.m. except the Aug. 6 matinee, which is at 2 p.m.
Reserved seat tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for adolescents; for matinees, $16 and $11. For reservations, call 1-800-4-CDA-TIX, or (208) 769-7780.
The Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre is a professional summer-stock theater that performs at Boswell Hall on the North Idaho College campus in Coeur d’Alene.
‘Once Upon a Mattress’
The Cutter Players, a small-town theater success story, opens its annual summer show, “Once Upon a Mattress,” tonight at the Cutter Theatre in Metaline Falls.
“Once Upon a Mattress” is the musical version of the fable “The Princess and the Pea.” Featuring the rambunctious Princess Winnifred and the handsome Prince Dauntless the Drab, this is one musical comedy where the comedy is emphasized over the music.
The show runs tonight and Saturday, and then continues on Aug. 11-12 and Sept. 2-3. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6. Reservations are recommended and are available by calling (509) 446-4108.
On-site child care is available for $2.50. The Cutter Theatre is in the historic school building in Metaline Falls.