Lea Michele replaces Beanie Feldstein in Broadway’s Funny Girl

The sweets of life today for Lea Michele.

Beginning in September, the actress will replace Beanie Feldstein in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl. Michele — a noted Barbra Streisand superfan who originated the role of Fanny Brice onstage in 1964 — covered about the show’s anthem “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in the first season of the television show “Glee,” and the Song later listed in 2010 Tony Awards. She publicly expressed interest in playing the role years ago during a talk show appearance and has been rumored to be taking on the backup lead role since Feldstein’s exit was announced.

The long-awaited revival of Funny Girl kicked off at the end of April. After Feldstein took a break from the show because she tested positive for the coronavirus, she announced in June that her final performance would be on September 25. The production confirmed the message on Twitter, adding that actress Jane Lynch, who played Mrs. Brice, would then also quit.

Feldstein then shared in a statement posted to Instagram Sunday night that she would be leaving “Funny Girl” at the end of July — two months ahead of the originally announced date. She attributed her early departure — a highly unusual occurrence on Broadway — to the production’s decision to “take the show in a different direction.”

“I will never forget this experience and would like to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every person who came to August Wilson [Theatre] for the love and support you have shown me and our amazing cast and crew,” the statement read. “The people I have had the great pleasure of bringing Funny Girl to life with each night on and off stage are all remarkably talented and extraordinary people.”

Lynch is now leaving ahead of schedule as well, taking her final bow on September 4th. Mrs. Brice is played by four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh. (Standby Julie Benko will play Fanny Brice in August and on Thursdays from September.)

Funny Girl received mostly negative reviews. Variety’s Frank Rizzo called it “underpowered.” Jesse Green of The New York Times argued that the revival “shows why it took so long.” While critics took note of her eager nature, they panned Feldstein’s vocal prowess, particularly in contrast to Streisand’s.

Peter Marks of the Washington Post explained: “For example, while you were adamant that Streisand was a star, with Feldstein you believe it above all else she believes She’s a star.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/theater-dance/2022/07/11/lea-michele-beanie-feldstein-funny-girl/ Lea Michele replaces Beanie Feldstein in Broadway’s Funny Girl

Chris Estrada

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