Turns out that she eventually got pretty pissed off
Posted by: AlanScott 01:41 pm EDT 06/02/21
In reply to: re: FUNNY GIRL question - portenopete 09:47 am EDT 05/30/21

Well, she did get a line to herself. :)

I was going to reply to you a couple of days ago that I doubt she was notably miffed about it. After all, it was a big break (she would play it in L.A., always a big inducement for performers), and Roth and Anthony George (!) were considered bigger names (well, they did restore "A Temporary Arrangement" for him), and she wanted it enough to accept it.

But then when I was doing some further research, I found that she complained to the press — quite loudly — about her billing. And she fired her agent, or at least, quoting from the interview, she fired the person "advising me then. This particular person isn't with me now." I presume it was her agent, but perhaps it was her manager.

I would have thought, as sometimes happens in such odd cases, that she would have at least gotten a solo curtain call, but she didn't, at least not at the time of that article. Perhaps she did eventually when Roth left.

According to an article in Variety, there were also issues between Michaels, the producer, and the Fanny standby, Sandra O'Neill, who for a time was playing matinees. Then Michaels missed six or so performances. O'Neill reportedly received ovations and there were no requests for refunds. When Michaels came back, it seems that a patron whose wife had seen O'Neill asked for a refund. Michaels showed up at the next Saturday matinee, determined to go on. She was reminded of her decision not to play matinees. A shouting match ensued, and O'Neill went on. I don't know if Michaels then returned to playing matinees. According to the article, Michaels's mother was believed to be "a factor" in all of this.

O'Neill later played Fanny in stock, opposite Anthony George.

Despite all of the unpleasantness on the tour, Michaels was generally felt to have been terrific in the role. Not quite as good a singer as Streisand, but good, and some felt she was a better actress (even if her performance was clearly quite similar to Streisand's).

Btw, she played a week of performances on the Lawrence stock tour after Lawrence fell and cut her upper lip performing on the Tonight Show the day before the Westbury opening. (This was two months into the tour.) The next day Lawrence realized — rather late in the day, according to news reports — that she couldn't sing because of the stitches on her lip. An emergency call went out, and Michaels came to the rescue.

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