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The continuing story of Fanny Brice following that depicted in Funny Girl (1968) is presented. An established star on Broadway as a headliner for the Ziegfeld Follies, Fanny and the rest of the world are hitting difficult times entering into the 1930s. Her marriage to Nicky Arnstein, who she still loves is ending in divorce, and even Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. is having trouble coming up with money to continue to produce the Follies. Along comes brash nightclub owner, song lyricist and wannabe impresario Billy Rose, who says he can raise the money and has the material to produce his own revue, which he wants to star Fanny. Fanny is both attracted to and repelled by Billy because of his chutzpah, his stubbornness and knowing that underneath his outer veneer is the soul of a true hustler... much like she was when she was first starting out and much like she still is now. Through their professional trials and tribulations, they slowly start to fall for each other. But Fanny admits that Nicky is still never far from her mind... —Huggo
This musical is just brutal. After the sensational soaring of FUNNY GIRL this bludgeoning sequel is what CARRY ON CLEO is to CLEOPATRA. Honestly, I thought Barbra was channeling Phil Silvers in TOP BANANA against James Caan still in Sonny Corleone mode. Or commode perhaps. The production values and the color is good but Barbra yakketyyakking at Caan's bemused head for 140 minutes just left me punch drunk. Ben Vereen leaping about and Roddy being wistful was sort of OK and some of the dance numbers were enjoyable in a cardboard way. I would actually like the see the reportedly cut scenes, especially James Caan singing "Does your chewing gum get stale on the bedpost overnight" (true) ...apparently he is playing it on a typewriter at the time, and whatever else they decided was 'not good enough' as opposed to what was already there. This even has a imitation 'Don't Rain On My Parade' number with planes trains and automobiles instead of a tug. Something this lady might have actually needed. Brutal. Clobbering. Thank God we weren't bulldozed with FUNNY GRANNY, but I guess there is still time.
- Mar 21, 2005
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