FUNNY Girl made Barbra Streisand a global star 50 years ago.

Now taking on the musical mantle of the sparkling heroine - Fanny Brice - is Sheridan Smith.

Sheridan is already a superstar and has the midas touch on stage and screen.

The multi-talented all-rounder is no stranger to Liverpool audiences following her success as Cilla Black in the critically-acclaimed television bio-pic drama.

She can certainly belt out classics and this two-hour 45-minute show - including interval - has them in abundance from I'm the greatest star, If a girl isn't pretty, I'm the greatest star to People and Don't rain on my parade.

This West End smash tells the tale of Brice who, thanks to her vocal talents and comedic ability, rises from the tough music halls and Vaudeville halls to Broadway megastar.

It begins in a New York theatre in 1927 and through flashbacks and elsewhere in her memory.

Along the way, this confident Brookyln babe falls in love with a top-hatted smoothie; a gambler who won her heart and lost his own fortune.

He is played by American Chris Peluso who adds the right amount of sensitvity amid the bravado highlighted in Temporary Arrangement.

He was the love of her life echoed in Fanny's songs.

Director Michael Mayer's production is a slick, sparkling stage version and the music of Jule Styne and Bob Merrill stands the test of time thanks to lyrcs and melodies that allow all performers to stamp their own mark.

Michael Pavela's colourful sets puts the star on show from the dressing room with its lightbulb mirrors to railways stations and grandtouring theatres.

Sheridan Smith simply oozes talent from her fingers to her toes.

Her smile beams from stage to audience - which is exactly what the real Fanny Brice achieved in her remarkable career.

Sheridan is a song and dance girl who also happens to be one of the country's greatest actresses.

So when you combine all three factors you see a dazzling charismatic performer at the top of her game.

Lynne Page's choreography is dazzling and and recreates the Ziegfeld Follies were Fanny shone with her wonderful routines such as the militrary Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat.

Sheridan's comic timing is faultless and the orchestra never put a note wrong.

The Overtures is a mini-show in itself.

A standing ovation following a stunning finale saw a clearly moved Ms Smith give two thumbs up to the audience.

Like the legendary Fanny -  she is a 24 carat showbiz crowd-pleaser.

This is a fabulous Funny Girl on every level.

Pure Gold - Five stars 

The show is at Liverpool Empire until Saturday.

Tickets from the box office on 0844 871 3017