Ana Gasteyer Is Funny Girl For Pittsburgh CLO July 22-Aug. 3;    Cuccioli Croons

By Kenneth Jones  -  July 22, 2003

Photo © Pittsburgh CLO

Ana Gasteyer, the comic actress widely known for her work on "Saturday Night Live," stars as Fanny Brice in Pittsburgh CLO's Funny Girl, beginning performances July 22.Her handsome Nicky Arnstein is Robert Cuccioli. Performances under the direction of Richard Sabellico continue to Aug. 3 at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh.

The tale of an ugly duckling who became a Ziegfeld star — and a legendary stage and screen comedienne — has a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill that includes "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade." If Brice is widely known today, it is not for her ephemeral work on stage and radio, but because of this 1964 stage musical bio that became a launchpad for Barbra Streisand. Streisand starred in the film version as well.  Ana Gasteyer's characters on "SNL" included Martha Stewart, Celine Dion and Hilary Clinton. She appeared in Broadway in The Rocky Horror Show and recently Off-Broadway in Kimberly Akimbo.

Robert Cuccioli returns to CLO as Fanny's love, gambler Nicky Arnstein, a role he performed at Paper Mill: The State Theatre of New Jersey in 2001. He made his Broadway debut as Javert in Les Misérables and went on to earn a Drama Desk Award, the Joseph Jefferson Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a 1997 Tony Award nomination for his playing the title roles in Jekyll and Hyde.

The cast also includes Diane Findlay as Mrs. Brice; Tim Hartman as Ziegfeld; Jim Walton as Eddie Ryan; Jan Neuberger as Mrs. Strakosh; Paul Palmer as Tom Keeney; Scott P. Sambuco (as John, Adolph) and Terry Wickline as Mrs. Meeker.

Director Sabellico earned a Drama Desk Award for directing a revival of I Can Get it For You Wholesale and a Drama Desk nomination for A Majority of One. Michael Lichtefeld choreographs. Tom Helm is musical director.

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