Mountain District Music Society presents Funny Girl at the Karralyka Theatre, Mines Road, Ringwood East until Saturday 20th June.

Funny Girl is a semi-biographical musical based on the life and early career of Broadway film star Fanny Brice.

The story opens backstage at the New Amsterdam Theatre during the early 1920s, where Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice waits the release of her husband, entrepreneur and gambler, Nick Arnstein, from prison.

This can only be described as a fabulous show with all the glitz and glamour of more expensive shows, performed admirably by the cast of MDMS and designed and directed by Tyler Hess who also costumed the production with lavish costumes the like of which you very rarely see in the suburbs.

Jaclyn DeVincentis( Fanny Brice) and Nick Arnstein (Daniel Mottau) were superb in their roles. Lindy Yeates (Mrs Brice), Liam Kilgour (Eddie Ryan), Dot Parker (Mrs Strakosh) and Phil Lambert (Florenz Ziegfeld) all gave excellent portrayals of their roles.

The whole Cast of this show needs to be applauded for their great performances.

Congratulations Tyler Hess for another great show.

Funny Girl, continues Thursday – Saturday until June 20th at 8pm, and a Matinee on Saturday 20th at 2pm.
For bookings call Karralyka Box Office on (03)8979 2933 Monday- Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Brian Amos | Radio Eastern 98.1

Congratulations to Mountain District Musical Society for their outstanding production of Funny Girl.
Funny Girl is a semi biographical musical based on the life and early career of Ziegfeld Follies Star and comedienne Fanny Brice. The story opens backstage of the The New Amsterdam Theatre during the early 1920’s where Fanny awaits the prison release of her husband entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein. As she waits she reflects back on her past rising from an awkward stage- struck teen getting her first job in vaudeville to a glorified Ziegfield star. Being swept off her feet by the handsome sophisticated Nick launches her private life and career to the heart of this story. Funny Girl is filled with wonderful warm characters and a beautiful song list. The Fanny Brice story will certainly resonate with anyone who finds themselves at a cross road; has fallen in love and above all dreamed of becoming a star. Jaclyn DeVincentis played an extraordinary Fanny Brice and Daniel Mottau a brilliant Nick Arnstein, together a dynamic duo. They were strongly supported by the brilliantly played roles of Mrs. Brice, Eddie Ryan, Mrs.Strakosh and Florenz Ziegfeld. Superb Ziegfield Girls and Vaudeville Troupers, choreography, singing and dancing absolutely spot on and costumes spectacular. The story moved seamlessly to a finale that just about brought the house down. Congratulations one and all on a spectacular night of performance.

Marie Ryan | Inner FM

REVIEW – FUNNY GIRL

In non-professional theatre, some companies struggle year after year with making ends meet, but MDMS in my experience, manage to produce shows of very high quality year after year. 2015 may be an exception, since “Funny Girl” has raised the bar to a higher level. Remarkable production values and a cast of uniformly high quality from principals to smallest walk-on part, are the characteristics of the show. Anyone interested in theatre should make a visit to this show a “must”.

“Funny Girl” is loosely based on the life and career of Broadway and Hollywood comedienne Fanny Brice and her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nicky Arnstein in the 1920s. Fanny Brice became a star using the persona of a plain, unmarried Jewish girl. When she falls in love with Arnstein, she is overwhelmed by his looks, and position, but with her own career taking off, Arnstein’s need to match her leads to a recklessness in business that sends him to jail, eventually ending their marriage. The elements of this interesting show lie in that relationship between the poor Jewish girl who makes good, and the society ‘high-flier’, set within the top level of show business.

The roles of Fanny & Nick are filled by Jaclyn De Vicentis and Daniel Mottau. The two of them bring every emotion to their roles, Jaclyn a beautifully Brooklyn Jewish persona who exudes more & more confidence & control as she succeeds on Broadway; Daniel a gracious, elegant, exterior which we find hides a core of insecurity that leads him to gamble beyond his means. Their scenes together convey an underlying love that is evident even when anger & frustration get the better of them.
Surprisingly however, I cannot say that I felt any emotion for either of them, which would be my one criticism of their performances. Both have excellent voices that both use effectively, particularly so in ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Fanny) & ‘I Want To Be Seen With You Tonight” (Nick).

MDMS should be delighted with the supporting cast for their principals. Lindy Yeates is a loving Mother to Fanny, yet quite able to strongly voice her concerns about her daughter. Dot Parker, Hazel Green, & Christine James as the Brice’s neighbours are a wonderful trio of characters who are the barometers of Fanny’s success in life. Liam Kilgour, Phil Lambert & Nathan Wright make a trio of strong men crucial to Fanny’s well-being throughout her life.
No review of this show without heaping credit on the dancers and ensemble who as a unit, work at their routines; their energy & enthusiasm touched the audience who responded noisily.

For the past few years, I have admired the production values of each MDMS show I have seen. This year, set, costume, & lighting people have exceeded themselves. I was amazed by the innovative & ingenious approach to staging ‘Funny Girl”. The idea of using large, photo frames filled with filmed images to describe the area of NY where the scene occurs, of shifting sets by mounting them on three platforms which could be rolled into position, of hiding the orchestra on a platform over the back of a stage defined by a black scrim, these together provided a treat for the eyes, while allowing smooth & barely noticeable scene changes. Even the proscenium arch added to the atmosphere as pictures trimmed to shape were projected on it.

What more can I say? Tyler Hess who directs the production has given us yet another show which I’m sure is earning him a reputation for innovation and quality in his work. I was delighted to see a well-filled auditorium for a production which deserves to be well-supported by anyone who can enjoy musical theatre. Every element of “Funny Girl” shrieks “class” and will certainly repay a trip to Karralyka this week.

Bill Watts | 3WBC