By Lanford Beard
Updated September 13, 2011 at 06:58 PM EDT

Two-time Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale is returning to Broadway in this spring’s production of Funny Girl. Cannavale will play charismatic gangster Nick Arnstein opposite Lauren Ambrose’s Fanny Brice in the beloved musical. “I think they are going to be a dazzling pair and I can’t wait to see them on stage together,” said Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group, who will oversee Funny Girl‘s trial run at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre Jan. 15-Feb. 26, 2012.

Cannavale’s work on screen has run the gamut from comedy (his Emmy-winning turn in Will & Grace) to indies (Win Win), and even horror (Snakes on a Plane), but he’s never been a song-and-dance man before. “It’s always been my dream to star in a Broadway musical,” Cannavale said of the opportunity. “This is a terrific role for my musical theatre debut and an exciting challenge for me.”

Cannavale has been nominated twice for a Tony Award — as a featured actor for 2007’s Mauritius and for his leading role in this year’s The Mother****** with the Hat. Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific) will direct the production, which should hit Broadway boards next spring, though no official date has been set yet.

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