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Funny Girl

Funny Girl is a musical with a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill. The semi-biographical plot is based on the life and career of Broadway, film star and comedienne Fanny Brice and her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nicky Arnstein. Its original title was My Man.

The musical was produced by Ray Stark, who was Brice’s son-in-law via his marriage to her daughter Frances, and starred Barbra Streisand. The production was nominated for eight Tony Awards but, facing tough competition from Hello, Dolly!, it failed to win in any categories.

The musical is set in and around New York City just prior to and following World War I. Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice, awaiting the return of husband, Nick Arnstein, from prison, reflects on their life together, and their story is told as a flashback.

Fanny is a stage-struck teen who gets her first job in vaudeville. Her mother and her friend try to dissuade her from show-business. But, Fanny perseveres, and her career takes off. She meets the sophisticated and handsome Nick Arnstein. Fanny falls in love, and eventually, they marry. Fanny becomes a major star with Ziegfeld and the Follies. Nick asks Ziegfeld to invest in a gambling casino, but although Ziegfeld passes, Fanny insists on investing. When the venture fails and they lose their money, Nick tries to make money but is arrested for embezzlement.

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