Center Theatre Group looking online for a ‘Funny Girl’ lead to follow in Streisand’s footsteps

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People, people who need people ... well, especially nowadays they’re the luckiest people in the world, what with social networking and the ability to search online for that certain special someone who can share one’s hobby or one’s life –- or fix one’s clogged plumbing.

One can even go online to find one’s leading lady –- which led to Center Theatre Group’s announcement Monday that it’s availing itself of what technology hath wrought to broaden the concept of the open audition. With “Funny Girl” slotted for February 2012 at the Ahmanson Theatre, CTG and the show’s director, Bartlett Sher, say that in addition to exploring the usual channels, they’re soliciting bids for the part of Fanny Brice via online video auditions.

They’ll accept a single 90-second video from each would-be performer and throw the results into the hopper as they decide who gets the part Barbra Streisand made famous (and vice versa) in the original 1964 Broadway production of the musical by Jule Styne, Bob Merrill and Isobel Lennart. The television show, “Glee,” has mined “Funny Girl” and other bits of the Streisand oeuvre to the extent that New York magazine last year wrote that “Barbra is pretty much the show’s patron saint.”

What’s wanted, says the CTG press release, is “an unforgettably thrilling voice with a big range … and great comic skill, masking deep insecurity and pain … a once-in-a-generation talent.”


That last bit makes Culture Monster wonder whether they’ve just scared off a large swath of the established talent that might have considered going for the part in person. But then again, they’re probably not looking for humble.

You can enter online via the website, but from there you’re on your own. We can’t provide a link to the audition page because, as a matter of policy, The Times doesn’t publish casting notices, and serving up your audition on a platter would seem to conflict with that. Plus, if you got the part we’d have to demand a percentage as your agent.

But don’t let that rain on your parade. Babs wouldn’t.

-- Mike Boehm