‘Funny Girl’ Revival Gets Its Fanny Brice – ‘Six Feet Under’s’ Lauren Ambrose

Eat your heart out, Lea Michelle; Ambrose will step into the part made famous by Barbra Streisand

Last Updated: August 3, 2011 @ 12:21 PM

Here's a suggestion. Steer clear of Lea Michele today. 

It has been widely rumored that the "Glee" star was angling to play Fanny Brice in the upcoming revival of "Funny Girl," particularly after Michele sang the show's signature "Don't Rain on My Parade" during a 2010 appearance on the Tony Awards. 

On Wednesday, casting took a left turn with the show's producers, Center Theatre Group, announcing that the ginger-haired Lauren Ambrose would take on the part of Fanny. That was, of course, the role that launched Barbra Streisand's career.

Ambrose is best known for her work on HBO's "Six Feet Under," but she also sings with her band the Leisure Class. Stage roles include "Exit the King" and "Awake and Sing!"

"Funny Girl" will play at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles from Jan. 15 through Feb. 26, 2012 prior to opening in spring 2012 on Broadway.

Bartlett Sher, who directed Ambrose in "Awake and Sing!," will direct her in the revival as well. On Wednesday, Sher explained his unconventional casting.

"It's important that people not see this casting process as trying to find the next Barbra Streisand. She is one of a kind," Sher said in a statement. "Instead, I really needed someone with whom I could explore the original musical and come to terms with Fanny Brice for a new era."

If there are any doubts that Ambrose has the musical chops to tackle the vocally demanding "Funny Girl," take a look at this clip of her singing Brice's show-stopping torch song "My Man."