THE STORY BEHIND
FANNY BRICE
COMING TO MALTZ JUPITER THEATRE

September 28, 2009 (Jupiter, FL) - She was vaudeville's Second Hand Rose. She was early radio's Baby Snooks. And she was immortalized on Broadway and the big screen in Funny Girl and Funny Lady.

But Fanny Brice was much more complicated, and much more controversial, than the woman Barbra Streisand portrayed.

And it's that side of Brice's life that David Bell explores in Fanny Brice: The Real Funny Girl, which has its world premiere Nov. 10 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

"I not only wanted to capture the spirit of one of Broadway's most electrifying stars - I wanted to capture some of the spirit of Ballyhoo, creativity, genius and flimflam that made up the Broadway of that era," Bell said. "It was an era where films were exploding, radio was pioneering the idea of 'home entertainment' and television was starting to make an appearance, It was an era of Rodgers and Hart, George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin and the greatest explosion of popular songs created from the Broadway stage in history."

In writing this story of Brice's life, Bell says he wanted to concentrate more on her third marriage, to Billy Rose, and the reasons Brice left New York to continue her astounding popular success in Hollywood.

Bell set the story in 1936 - after the enormous success of The Great Ziegfeld, produced at Universal Studios. Brice's fast-talking producer/agent/husband, Billy Rose, has negotiated with Universal to produce a film of the entertainer's life as a "follow-up." Rose has hired a ghostwriter and an empty Broadway theater to inspire his wife's writing - while he is producing the Aquacade in Cleveland.

Brice's saga is the story of so many Americans at the turn of the last century - immigrant family, limited means, boundless ambition, luck, dedication, perseverance and success. It is the story of the American Dream, and Fanny Brice was there through it all.

For more than 40 years, she triumphed everywhere she worked - from vaudeville to variety, burlesque to Broadway, The Ziegfeld Follies to film, and, finally, from radio to television, in a career that lasted from 1907 until her death in 1951.

Bell says he is delighted to tell his tale of Brice at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

"I am grateful to Andrew Kato and the Maltz Jupiter Theatre for allowing me to explore this rich time in American popular history through the vehicle of Fanny Brice," Bell says. "There was a time in American theater, before opening anything in New York cost the annual income of a small European country, that all new work really originated in New York."

At the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Brice will be portrayed by Marya Grandy, returning to the theatre where she appeared in Smokey Joe's Café in 2008. She has been seen on Broadway in Les Misérables (2006 Revival) and Off-Broadway in The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Drama Desk Nominee), The Water Coolers. On Regional stages, she has appeared in Gypsy, Beehive, Smokey Joe's Café, The Honky Tonk Angels and Working. In television and film, she has been seen in Conviction, Law & Order,  Law & Order: SVU, Denis Leary's Merry F***ing Christmas and Love Streams.  A graduate of Yale University, Grandy has recorded with Paul Simon and the Manhattan Transfer.

Tickets for Fanny Brice: The Real Funny Girl are $52 for orchestra seats and $45 for mezzanine for evening performances; opening night tickets are priced at $56 orchestra, $49 mezzanine; and matinees are $39 orchestra, $36 mezzanine. All Maltz Jupiter Theatre limited engagement and season production tickets are on sale now.  Please call the box office at (561) 575-2223 or visit online at www.jupitertheatre.org.

In conjunction with its world premiere production of Fanny Brice: The Real Funny Girl, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre will sponsor a free lecture by Dr. Jay Wolff, a storyteller whose lectures bring to life personalities and events of the past. The title of his lecture, "Wrong is for Other People," is from a quote by Brice, who made millions laugh, often at the expense of her own happiness.

The lecture will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the 500-seat Tamar and Milton Maltz Center for Education Auditorium at Florida Atlantic University's Lifelong Learning Society, at FAU's Jupiter Campus. The lecture is free, but tickets are required. To reserve tickets, please contact the Maltz Jupiter Theatre box office at (561) 575-2223.

Please note: Tickets may be picked up at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, but the event is at FAU's Jupiter Campus, at Abacoa, off Donald Ross Road just east of Interstate 95.

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is an award-winning professional not-for-profit regional theatre dedicated to the performing arts whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire our community. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and is located east of U.S. Highway 1 at 1001 East Indiantown Road and State Road A1A in Jupiter.

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