Escape with LTO’s Funny Girl
If days are feeling dark, The Little Theater of Owatonna (LTO) is hoping to brighten them with its musical production, Funny Girl by Isobel Lennart.
The show, under the artistic direction of Linda Karnauskas, opens this weekend. The musical is a semi-biographical telling of the life of Fanny Brice, an actor and comedian, who’s in love with Nick Arnstein, a gambler who’s in prison for embezzlement at the beginning of the show. Told as a long flashback, Brice reflects on how the two met and wonders if they can still have a future together.
The musical is famous for numbers like “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and “People.” Originally performed on Broadway with Barbra Streisand as Brice to much success, the musical was also turned into a movie with Streisand reprising her role and winning an Oscar for her performance.
At technical rehearsal on Sunday, the cast was on point, as the crew stitched together the final elements of the show. There was an air of certainty and focus in the theater, as Karnauskas sat several rows back in the audience watching carefully and whispering minor corrections over her radio headset.
This is Karnauskas’s third directorial outing and first musical one with LTO having previously done 39 Steps and Pack of Lies.
The smooth tech run can be attributed to Karnauskas’s 15 years at LTO spent largely backstage.
She’s been hoping to do Funny Girl for a while. “I saw the film and fell in love with it,” she said.
“It’s so about a gal who wasn’t the best of everything as far as looks, but she knew she’d make it,” she continued, “It speaks about believing in the possibilities.”