NEW YORK (PIX11) — Almost 60 years after the original production opened, “Funny Girl” is back on Broadway, starring Beanie Feldstein as Fanny Brice, as well as Ramin Karimloo, Jane Lynch and Jared Grimes.

It was the musical that put a young Barbara Streisand on the map; in the movie her love interest Nicky Arnstein was played by Omar Sharif. The musical Funny Girl first opened on Broadway in 1964, starring Streisand as Fanny Brice.

In this new production, Arnstein is played by Iranian-born, Canadian actor Ramin Karimloo.

“It’s dawning on me how many people love the character as well as the Fanny Brice character,” Karimloo said. “I’m also a big fan of Omar Sharif, so to step in is an honor.”

In 1978, Karimloo and his family fled the war in Iran and eventually settled in a town north of Toronto, Ontario in Canada, where he grew up. Suspended from his high school hockey team, he went on a school field trip, where the students were taken to see “Phantom of the Opera.”

It was a life-changing moment, according to Karimloo who sat down recently with PIX11 to talk about his acting life and new role on Broadway.

“When my teammates saw how choked up, I was after watching “Phantom,” they tried to rip me,” Karimloo said. “But I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to become the ‘Phantom of the Opera,’’ and I made a bet with a friend. And when I was 26, I phoned him and said guess what?”

In 2003, Karimloo was indeed cast in the London production of “Phantom,” and years later became the lead character.

Now, he takes to Broadway with Feldstein, who he says is a force to be reckoned with.

“Oh, Beanie’s incredible. She’s a star in her own,” he said. “But she’s going to blow the doors off with what she’s bringing as Fanny Brice, and she’s a great leader.”

Karimloo also says this new adaptation, penned by Tony award-winning actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein, is the perfect production to introduce this classic to a new audience. The production has been in previews since March 26 at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre and will officially open on April 24.