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Streisand on Broadway

May 03, 1997

In your Weekend Best Bets section of April 24 you state that Glenn Jordan was the director of Barbra Streisand's first Broadway show. Not so. I was the casting director for David Merrick and I found Streisand singing in a nightclub in Greenwich Village and asked her to come audition in a theater. Her reaction to singing in the Shubert Theatre: "Do I have to fill this enormous space?" She did. So then I brought her in to audition for the role of Miss Marmelstein in "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" and the entire creative team went crazy over her. The director was Arthur Laurents, who piloted Streisand's first Broadway show.

I suspect the item refers to a small, off-off-Broadway revue with Streisand, directed by Jordan, which ran only one performance. But "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" was her debut on Broadway. She created a sensation in her supporting role and tore down the house with her two numbers, which in turn led to "Funny Girl." Garson Kanin started out directing "Funny Girl," but Jerome Robbins took over that show in its pre-Broadway out-of-town tryout. The rest is history.

MICHAEL SHURTLEFF

Hollywood

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