It was recently announced that Beanie Feldstein would step down from the role of Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl at the end of September.
The cast change, which also includes a search for a replacement for Jane Lynch’s role as Fanny’s mother, Mrs. Rose Brice, comes after less than rave reviews nearly 10 months after being cast.
The big question now: who will take on the role originally immortalized on stage by Barbara Streisand in the 1960s. While the logical choice is Feldstein’s current stand-in, Julie Benko, the producers reportedly have their eye on Lea Michele Showbiz 411.
Casting Changes: Beanie Feldman is stepping down early from her role as Fanny Brice in the Funny Girl revival, and former Glee star Lea Michele is set to serve as producer
The semi-biographical storyline is based on the life and career of Broadway star, film actress and comedian Fanny Brice and chronicles her tumultuous relationship with entrepreneur and gamer Nick Arnstein.
The former Glee star was rumored to be in the running for the role after performing many of the songs during her performance in the hit musical series.
But it never came to fruition in the end, as Michele and Feldstein got the job.
With Feldstein in the lead role, Funny Girl didn’t have the runaway success the producers had hoped for.
Other goodbyes: Alongside Feldstein, it was also announced that actress Jane Lynch is stepping down from her role as Mrs. Rose Brice at the end of September
As an understudy, Benko was actually allowed to play Fanny during planned absences and Feldman’s recent battle with COVID-19, and received mostly praise.
And just last weekend, Michele championed being the replacement as she lit up the stage and home TV screens with her captivating performance at the Spring Awakening reunion during Sunday’s Tony Awards.
Unlike Feldstein, Michele comes with much more credibility on stage and vocals, which was seen in a big way during her time on Glee, which eventually became a smash hit with audiences for six seasons (2009-2015).
Another potential perk in Michele’s favor: She actually worked with Funny Girl director Michael Mayer when he helmed her first starring role in Spring Awakenings.
Broadway-worthy: Michele made the case for the role of Fanny Brice by delivering a riveting performance during the Spring Awakening reunion at the 75th Tony Awards last Sunday
Feldstein will be giving her final performance as Fanny Brice at the August Wilson Theater on September 25th.
“I will never find the words that can even begin to explain what the experience was like for me,” Feldstein shared on Instagram after receiving news that she was stepping down.
She added: “I gave all of myself to this show and will continue to do so. I’m incredibly proud to be a bagel on a plate of onion buns. I’m so grateful for every other bagel that comes with us to Henry Street every night. Can’t wait to see you all there by September.”
Staying on board: Actors Jared Grimes (left), who plays Eddie Ryan, and Ramin Karimloo (second from left), who plays Nick Arnstein, remain with the show for its next run
sources told meeting that Lynch had always planned to leave production in September, but Feldstein was expected to stay through the end of the year.
Actors Jared Grimes, who plays Eddie Ryan, and Ramin Karimloo, who plays Nick Arnstein, will remain with the show for the next series.
So far, there’s no official word on when Feldstein and Lynch’s substitutes will be announced.
Funny Girl opened on Broadway on April 24 and is currently running indefinitely. Awards include the 1964 production starring Streisand as Fanny received eight nominations at the 18th Tony Awards.