Beanie Feldstein will leave the Broadway revival of Funny Girl two months earlier than planned: her final performance will be 31 July 2022.
In a statement on social media, Feldstein attributed her early departure to producers wanting to ‘take the show in a different direction’ – it is not known what changes had been put forward.
Feldstein’s time with the show has been difficult. Reviews were mixed with some unfairly comparing her Barbra Streisand and finding her wanting. She was snubbed at the Tony Awards and has missed numerous performances owing to a covid diagnosis in June.
Feldstein has been due to leave the production in September alongside Jane Lynch.
“Playing Fanny Brice on Broadway has been a lifelong dream of mine, and doing so for the last few months has been a great joy and true honor,” Feldstein posted on Instagram. “Once the production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated. I will never forget this experience and from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every single person who came to the August Wilson for the love and support you have shown me and our amazing cast and crew.”
The show put out a teaser on twitter earlier today saying “stay tuned for exciting casting announcements coming tomorrow at 1pm EST). Social media has been ablaze over the last few weeks with Glee star Lea Michelle the bookies favourite to take over the role.
Funny Girl is a bittersweet comedy about the indomitable Fanny Brice, a girl from the Lower East Side who dreamed of a life on the stage. Everyone told her she’d never be a star, but then something funny happened—she became one of the most beloved performers in history, shining brighter than the brightest lights of Broadway.
The show’s score is by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, with a revised book from Harvey Fierstein based on the original classic by Isobel Lennart. Tap choreography is by Ayodele Casel, with choreography by Ellenore Scott, and direction from Michael Mayer.
Famous songs in the show include “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” “I’m the Greatest Star,” and “People.”
Funny Girl is playing at the August Wilson Theatre in New York.