Lea Michele to star in Funny Girl after Beanie Feldstein’s departure
Lea Michele will take over as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl in early September, the show said Monday, after Beanie Feldstein’s abrupt announcement that she would be leaving the role earlier than expected.
Michele, 35, will begin performances on Tuesday, Sept. 6 alongside Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh, who will be taking over for Jane Lynch.
Feldstein’s standby Julie Benko will perform the role in August and on Thursdays beginning Sept. 8. Tony nominees Ramin Karimloo and Jared Grimes will still be in the show.
Playing Fanny Brice – in a role originated by Barbra Streisand – has been a longtime dream for Michele.
The Glee alum sang one of the show’s iconic tunes, “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” in the first season of Glee. She also brought down the house at the Tony Awards in 2010 when she sang the same tune.
Feldstein, who was supposed to stay on with production until Sept. 25, announced on Sunday that she would be finishing her role early and exiting at the end of July.
“Once the production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated,” she cryptically wrote.
Emmy nominee Michele is known for her theater roles in productions like Spring Awakening, which earned her a Drama Desk Award nomination, and TV series including Glee. Tony nominee Feldshuh’s credits include Broadway’s Yentl and the TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.