Lea Michele to Replace Beanie Feldstein in ‘Funny Girl’ Revival on Broadway
Following the news that Beanie Feldsteinis leaving the Broadway revival of Funny Girl two months early, it was announced that Lea Michele has been cast as her replacement.
Michele, who previously starred in the original cast of Spring Awakening, will take over the lead role as Fanny Brice.
Michele will formally take over the role starting Sept. 6, while current standby Julie Benko will assume the part from Aug. 2 to Sept. 4 and on Thursdays beginning Sept. 8.
It was also announced that Tony nominee and Walking Dead actress Tovah Feldshuh will replace Michele’s former Glee co-star, Jane Lynch, as Mrs. Brice.
Feldshuh will make her debut in Funny Girl alongside Michele on Sept. 6. This means that in addition to Feldstein, Lynch will be leaving the production early, after it was previously announced she would perform on stage through Sept. 25.
Both Michele and Feldshuh will join current cast members Ramin Karimloo, who plays Nick Arnstein, and Jared Grimes, who earned a 2022 Tony Award nomination for his turn as Eddie Ryan.
The news of Michele in the role, meanwhile, comes after many longtime fans had hoped she would be cast in the production, when the revival was first announced last year.
Michele added, “I think that everyone has wanted this show to come back for so long. I am a huge fan and always have been.”
On Sunday, Feldstein took to Instagram to explain why she made the “extremely difficult decision” to step down as Fanny Brice, which she previously told ET was a “dream” role of hers growing up.
“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,” Feldstein wrote.