In July, Mitchell Butel will direct a concert version of the hit Broadway musical Funny Girlfor the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with not one, not two but nine of Australia’s leading ladies sharing the role of Fanny Brice.

The line-up, which includes both musical theatre stars and pop divas, features Michala Banas, Casey Donovan, Virginia Gay, Verity Hunt-Ballard, Dami Im, Zahra Newman, Caroline O’Connor, Queenie van de Zandt and Megan Washington. O’Connor has previousy played the role for The Production Company in Melbourne, winning a 2016 Green Room Award. Other cast members include Trevor Ashley, Nancye Hayes, and Don Hany as Nicky Arnstein.

Caroline O’Connor with David Hobson in The Production Company’s 2016 production of Funny Girl. Photograph @ Jeff Busby

Funny Girlopened on Broadway in 1964 with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart. It is loosely based on the life and career of Ziegfeld Follies star and comedian Fanny Brice, telling the story of her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein. Barbra Streisand famously played the lead role in the original Broadway production and went on to star in the 1968 film....