Fanny Brice

 Audio Guide

Narrated by Kathleen Marshall, Broadway director & Choreographer

Transcript

In 1907, America was swept away by the debut of Ziegfeld’s famous Follies. For over 20 years, the glamorous Follies dazzled audiences. The Follies revues were theater spectacles with chorus girls, singers, dancers, and the day’s biggest stars all performing on the same stage. Ziegfeld's Follies were known for their beauty, glamor, and grace and landed some of the most renowned stars roles in silent films. But one homegrown talent rose above the rest in American popular culture. Fanny Brice, a comedic performer and singer born on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, rose to fame performing with the Ziegfeld Follies beginning in 1910. The daughter of Jewish immigrants, Fanny performed in vaudeville acts before captivating Ziegfeld’s audiences with her iconic number, “My Man.” The song emerged as her signature hit, earning her a posthumous Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Fanny Brice had a dramatic personal life to accompany her turn on the Broadway stage. A musical was made from her life, Funny Girl, which debuted on Broadway in 1964. The show's star Barbra Streisand gained recognition for playing Brice both on Broadway and in the resulting Hollywood film. This gown on display in the gallery is from the film’s bridal musical number scene. Designed by Irene Sharaff, the dress showcases the glamorous costume design detail of the Ziegfeld Follies revues at the time of Brice’s performances in the 1910s and 1920s.