The closing show of Providence College's season is the 1964 musical "Funny Girl". The show is about Fanny Brice, the singer-comedienne and her rise to stardom set in the years before World War I and shortly after it. Her unhappy private life contrast to her comic onstage antics in the famous Ziegfeld Follies. The show is a dynamic song and dance extravaganza. Directed expertly by Mary Farrell, choreographed wonderfully by Sandra Colavolpe and exquite musical direction by David Harper. The period costumes are by David Costa-Cabral with the many scenic pieces by Michael Micucci. Nancy Anastadis is dynamite in the lead role as are her many college age co-stars. She steal many scenes with her comic timing and strong singing voice. Her Jewish accent is a hoot.
She receives a well deserved standing ovation for her hard work as the energetic, multitalented Fanny Brice. Nancy is a triple threat performer, singing, acting and dancing throughout the show. "His Love Makes Me Beautiful" is one of the funniest numbers in the show where she is supposedly pregnant. She handles the comic aspects as well as the dramatic ones in the second act with ease. Her numerous songs include "I'm the Greatest Star", "People", "Don't Rain on My Parade'' (a show stopping number at the end of Act 1) , "Sadie, Sadie Married Lady" and "The Music That Makes Me Dance" (a tear jerking ballad near the end of the show) To quote the show, she is the Greatest Star.
The very handsome dark haired Nick Hebert plays Nick Arstein, the gambling, womanizing man Fanny falls in love with at first sight. He shines in many scenes and especially the argument scene when he loses the money when their casino is knocked down when a hurricane hits Florida. Another fight ensues when Fanny tries to set Nick up as a theatrical agent and the final break up scene will leave you in tears. Nick gets to show off his strong baritone voice in "I Want to Be Seen With You, Tonight'' and "You Are Woman, I Am Man" duets with Nancy and his voice really soars in the reprise of "Don't Rain on My Parade". Some of the comic foils in the show who also get to steal scenes are Samantha Brilhante as Mrs. Brice, Kaitlin Fitzsimons as the busybody, Mrs. Strakosh and especially dynamite is Kevin Black as the singing and dancing, Eddie Ryan who's tenor voice is magnificent. Eddie is a choreographer who is secretly in love with Fanny. Kevin and Samantha do a wonderful soft shoe to "Who Taught Her Everything?" and Kaitlin joins them in a comic song called "Find Yourself a Man". (There are so many talented people in this show it is almost impossible to single them all out.) So for a trip back to the days of the Ziegfeld Follies, be sure to catch "Funny Girl" before time runs out. (A standout tap dancing number is "Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat")