After a month of speculation, it’s official: Lea Michele is replacing Beanie Feldstein in Funny Girl, Deadline confirmed on July 11.
Lea will be taking on the titular role of Fanny Brice, which was originally played by Barbra Streisand in 1964, starting September 6 after Beanie Feldstein announced she was leaving the production early on July 10 with a post on Instagram.
In her post, Beanie shared that her last day as part of Funny Girl would be July 31. Her standby Julie Benko is set to perform the role from August 2 through September 4. The current show opened on April 24, 2022, at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.
“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. Once the production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated,” Beanie wrote in her post.
“I will never forget this experience," she continued, "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 people I have had the great joy of bringing Funny Girl to life with every night, both on and off the stage, are all remarkably talented and exceptional humans and I hope you continue to join them on Henry Street after I depart.”