Funny Girl on Broadway

Sets & Costumes

Robert Randolph was a designer of sets and lighting for stage productions for three decades, including such historic Broadway productions as the original 1966 Sweet Charity, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Applause, and Bye Bye Birdie.

Set Designs Below: For Funny Girl's sets, Randolph designed:

Randolph

And scenes from the show which highlight Randolph's sets:

Cornet Man

Above: Cornet Man; Below Left: Dining room scene; Below Right: Ziegfeld scene

Randolph sets

Irene Sharaff Costumes

Photo of Irene Sharaff

Irene Sharaff won five Academy Awards for costume design: An American in Paris, The King and I, West Side Story, Cleopatra and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She was also nominated for five Tony Awards. Sharaff designed West Side Story costumes (both stage and screen versions) as well as Funny Girl—again, costumes for both the stage play and film.

“I see everything in blocks of color,” Sharaff said about her style, “rather like a painting. If I have a leitmotif, a logo, I suspect it is associated with the colors I prefer: reds, pinks, oranges.”

Sharaff wrote about Streisand in her 1976 book Broadway & Hollywood: Costumes Designed by Irene Sharaff. “Barbra had an extraordinary memory about movies and stars. With the strong streak of Walter Mitty in her, she would turn up at fittings impersonating stars, usually of the twenties ...”

“Barbra with her logorrhea expressed her opinions freely and endlessly about everyone and everything, including the technique of movie making,” Sharaff also wrote.

Streisand was mic’d for Funny Girl on the stage—which meant all of her costumes were fashioned with a small buttonhole for a microphone to poke through. Ray Diffen, who assisted Irene Sharaff on the Funny Girl costumes, wrote that “the aerial was wound around her body, the microphone was fixed to her bra and the battery pack was taped to her leg, or the small of her back. The battery pack then was quite unwieldy, as big as a packet of cigarettes.”

Diffen further explained the technology: “all [costumes] had a small buttonhole for the mic to poke through. This had to be found by the dresser, in the dark in a hurry. It was a nightmare! In Boston we lost three outfits that couldn't be changed in time.”

Streisand's PEOPLE gown

(Above: The Broadway “People” gown is owned by Barbra—“a beautiful beaded dress of olive green silk marquisette, over dusty pink satin,” according to Ray Diffen; the film version of the costume is owned by a private collector.)

Diffen described the quick-change Streisand had to make during The Music That Makes Me Dance: “we had to rig up a long evening dress under a short fur coat of leopard skin. She had to step back through a curtain of fringe, unhook the coat, let the dress fall and step through the curtain and sing.”

(Below: Sharaff's costume breakdown sheet surrounded by “Cornet Man” costume sketches and various fabric swatches and notes about yardage.)

Sharaff costume plot and swatches

Below Left: Costume design for Streisand's last two scenes in Funny Girl in the dressing room. Below Right: The note refers to the scene in which Eddie and Fanny rehearse the number before Fanny actually goes on stage to perform it.

Cornet Man and final scene costumes

Below Left: Shariff's design for Barbra's “I'm The Greatest Star” costume; Below Right: A wedding gown for the big Ziegfeld number.

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