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All the songs in 'Funny Girl' on Broadway

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

What do happy people do? They have a fun-filled few hours at a Golden Age musical comedy. The classic 1964 hit Funny Girl is having its first Broadway revival, which opened in 2022 and now stars Lea Michele as real-life Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice in "the theatre event of the season," per a five-star review.

Isobel Lennart's story, newly revised by Harvey Fierstein, traces Fanny's rise to fame and troubled relationship with gambler Nick Arnstein. But the musical is most famous for Jule Styne's songs. "People" and "I'm the Greatest Star" became instant classics when Barbra Streisand first sang them in the 1960s, and "Don't Rain on My Parade" is on lists upon lists of the greatest showtunes of all time.

Learn about all the music that makes Broadway audiences dance at Funny Girl, and get tickets for this rare chance to hear these songs live.

Get Funny Girl tickets now.

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"Overture"

Before any actors step on stage and sing, the orchestra plays an instrumental mashup of multiple Funny Girl songs to kick off the show. Overtures don't appear in many modern musicals, but they're a staple of Golden Age classics.

"Who Are You Now?"

Most of Funny Girl is a flashback, where Fanny is reflecting on her and Nick's relationship while awaiting his return from prison. This song, in which Fanny hopes she and Nick have changed for the better as a result of knowing each other, was originally only in Act 2. The 2022 revival adds a short version in the beginning. "Are you something more than you were before... Did I give you too little by my loving you too much?" Fanny sings as the flashback begins.

"If a Girl Isn't Pretty"

The real Fanny Brice didn't have a small mouth, thin upturned nose, or blonde curls – that is, she didn't fit the standard definition of beauty. The same goes for the version of Fanny in Funny Girl. In this song, her mother, Mrs. Rosie Brice, and Rosie's friends try to talk her out of pursuing a showbiz career, as they don't think she'll succeed alongside the traditional beauties.

Indeed, during the song, a casting director rejects Fanny for her looks. But aside from his verse, "If a Girl Isn't Pretty" isn't a mean-spirited song. Rosie laments how the world isn't always kind to those who are different: "If a girl isn't pretty like a Miss Atlantic City, all she gets in life is pity and a pat," Rosie sings.

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"I'm the Greatest Star"

Even though Fanny's mother doesn't think she'll hack it in show business, that doesn't stop Fanny from dreaming big. This well-known tune sees her showing off all her skills — comedy, voice impressions, high notes — to convince the audience she's a unique talent that just hasn't been discovered yet. Or, as Fanny puts it just before the song starts, "I'm a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls!"

"Eddie's Tap"

This number is featured on the 2022 Funny Girl cast recording. There are no lyrics, just fast-footed tapping set to equally upbeat music. Jared Grimes, who plays Fanny's friend and fellow performer Eddie Ryan, is the man behind the taps. His dancing earned him a Tony Award nomination in 2022!

"Cornet Man"

"Cornet Man" is Fanny's first Follies number in Funny Girl. Dancing isn't her strong suit, and she messes up the choreography. However, she wows everyone with her vocals by the end, earning Fanny a dedicated spot in the famous revue.

"His Love Makes Me Beautiful"

"His Love Makes Me Beautiful" is the number that truly makes Fanny a Follies standout. She is dressed as a bride, singing a song of adoration for her husband. But Fanny, a skilled comedian, shocks everyone by appearing on stage "pregnant." She spins the romantic song into a comedic routine, leaving the audience in stitches and leaving her mark on the Follies.

"I Want to Be Seen with You Tonight"

Here, Fanny and the audience first meet Nick Arnstein. He immediately charms Fanny, and she charms him right back. Fanny is surprised that a sophisticated, attractive man like Nick would take an interest in her, but he insists she has beauty of her own. "I want to be seen, be seen with you, with you on my arm. To wear you like a charm, your glitter decorating my arm."

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"Henry Street"

"Henry Street" takes place on the title New York road, where Mrs. Brice hosts an opening night party for Fanny after her hit Follies debut in "His Love Makes Me Beautiful." She and all the partygoers celebrate that their little Lower East Side neighborhood "has something it ain't had so far: the greatest, most glamorous, genuine, glorified Ziegfeld star!"

"People"

"People who need people are the luckiest people in the world." This tender expression of love bookends one of Funny Girl's best-known songs. Nick and Fanny are falling quickly for each other, and they celebrate their newfound happiness by singing this song.

"You Are Woman"

Also called "You Are Woman, I Am Man," this song sees Fanny and Nick confirm their love for each other over a fancy French dinner. Nick bluntly says he wants to be more than friends — "You are woman, I am man. Let's kiss" — but Fanny hesitates for a moment, wondering if her mother would approve and if it's worth it to "become a sinner" for Nick. By the end of the song, though, she gives in to her feelings for Nick.

"Don't Rain on My Parade"

"Don't Rain on My Parade" is Funny Girl's most famous tune. Barbra Streisand delivered an iconic powerhouse performance in the original Funny Girl Broadway production and movie, making "Don't Rain on My Parade" her signature song.

In this rousing Act 1 finale, Fanny emphatically expresses her strong desire to be with Nick, despite his shady past. Even if she ultimately fails, she's not going to let anyone deny her a chance to live, love, and enjoy her happiness while she has it: "I've gotta fly once, I've gotta try once, only can die once, right, sir?"

"Sadie, Sadie"

After a brief entr'acte (the Act 2 equivalent of an overture), Funny Girl takes us to the newlywed Fanny and Nick's Long Island home, where Fanny's friends are throwing them a party. This song is Fanny's whimsical response when Ziegfeld asks what married life is like. "I'm Sadie, Sadie, married lady — bow when I go by! I'm a corporation now, not me, myself, and I."

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"Who Taught Her Everything?"

This song originally appeared in Act 1, but shifted for the 2022 revival and is now listed as "Who Taught Her Everything She Knows?" The song's premise remains the same, though: Rosie and Eddie worry Fanny will leave them in the dust, and not give them any credit, as her star rises. When "Who Taught Her Everything?" was in Act 1, Rosie and Eddie sang it just after Fanny got cast in the Follies. Now, the song comes after Fanny has actually achieved success.

"Temporary Arrangement"

Styne wrote "Temporary Arrangement," a solo Nick sings about his ever-changing fortunes, for the original Broadway production, but the song was cut. It was ultimately cut for the movie, too. However, when Funny Girl received a 2016 London revival, the song was added back in to beef up Nick's role. Multiple elements from the 2016 production remained for the 2022 Broadway revival, and "Temporary Arrangement" is one of them.

"Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat"

Like "His Love Makes Me Beautiful," "Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat" is another Ziegfeld Follies act Fanny performs in. This military-themed number is a World War I tribute, in which Fanny plays Private Schwartz, the only female soldier leading a company of male performers.

"Who Are You Now? (Reprise) / People (Reprise)"

Originally, "Who Are You Now?" only appears once in the show, as a duet between Nick and Fanny. Now that Fanny sings a solo version at the top of the show, their original duet becomes a reprise. The song is a fraught one, as they just lost money in a bad investment. As they sing "Are you someone who’s better for my love?", they're hopeful that their love is enough, but wonder whether they're really bringing each other down.

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"You're a Funny Girl / Beekman Call"

"Though you may be all wrong for a guy, you're good for a laugh," Nick sings to Fanny in this short ode that drops the show's title. In the second half, "Beekman Call," Nick gets on the phone with Tom Lefton, with whom he strikes a risky business deal, to get back the money he and Fanny lost.

"What Do Happy People Do?"

The Follies girls perform this short transitional number, singing lyrics like, "Do they gather shells to fill with drops of dew? Do they ask the moon to make their dreams come true?" The song parallels Fanny's situation, as the once successful girl is now slipping out of reach of happiness. Her lost money has turned her marriage upside down.

"The Music That Makes Me Dance"

At this point in the show, Nick has just been arrested for embezzlement. Despite all the ups and downs they've had romantically and financially, Fanny still loves him deeply. In this mournful ballad, she asserts that "his is the only music that makes me dance."

"Dream Ballet"

Funny Girl's dream ballet, which was added for the 2022 Broadway revival, is an instrumental song. As the music plays, Fanny reflects on her life, romance, and career, and what she wants for herself going forward.

Dream ballets are fairly common in older musicals, with each one expressing different themes and character journeys through various dance styles. Oklahoma! contains musical theatre's most famous dream ballet, but other classic musicals that feature them include Brigadoon, Guys and Dolls, On the Town, and The Pajama Game.

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"Funny Girl / Don't Rain On My Parade (Reprise II)"

The Act 2 finale begins somberly, as Fanny laments her lost love. "I guess it's not funny; life is far from sunny when the laugh is over and the joke's on you," she sings. But by the end, she determines that even though "I guess we didn't make it, at least I didn't fake it," and she can still pick herself up again. The show doesn't end on a fully positive note, but with a tentative glimmer of hope for Fanny's future.

"Bows / People (Reprise II)"

After an instrumental interlude while the cast takes their bows, the company delivers a short post-show reprise of "People," leaving audiences with the message that "people who need people are the luckiest people in the world."

"Find Yourself a Man"

Longtime fans of Funny Girl may wonder why this song, featured in the original production, has been left off this list. "Find Yourself a Man" was cut for the 2016 London revival as well as the Broadway revival. In the song, Rosie's friends encourage her to find a husband to support her so Fanny — who is busy with her marriage, a new baby, and the Follies — doesn't have to.

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