This isn’t, “Hello, gorgeous”—it’s goodbye.
Beanie Feldstein announced Sunday via Instagram that her last performance in Broadway’s current revival of Funny Girl will take place July 31. As Deadline points out, Feldstein was initially expected to stay in the show through the end of the year, but last month, producers announced that Feldstein and her co-star Jane Lynch would be departing on September 25. Feldstein’s Notes app Instagram announcement, on which the comments are notably turned off, claims, “Once the production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated.”
The revival received mixed reviews and its box office reportedly waned after it received just one Tony nomination. The show’s Twitter account promises “exciting casting announcements” coming Monday at 1 pm ET.
This brings us to Felstein’s rumored replacement: Lea Michele. This is notable for a few reasons. One is that Michele was the subject of widespread scrutiny in 2020 after former Glee co-stars (and other supposed collaborators) accused the actor of behavior that was interpreted as racist and bullying. If she gets this gig, she’s as good as uncanceled.
Secondly, in the fourth season of Glee, Michele’s character played the role of Fanny Brice on Broadway. Michele had talked about wanting to star in Funny Girl after Glee creator Ryan Murphy secured the rights to the musical, but Murphy said, “I feel like we [did] so many of those songs and so many of those scenes [on Glee] that in a weird way, I feel like we did it in some way.” So that never happened.
Finally, in a 2021 interview with Feldstein, Andy Cohen mentioned that Michele’s name had trended on Twitter after Feldstein’s casting in Funny Girl had been announced “because everyone knew that she wanted the part.” In response, Feldstein said:
I don’t even know that any of this was happening, by the way. I didn’t understand. But, she very sweetly wrote on my Instagram. I don’t know the woman whatsoever.
Probably safe to assume that she still doesn’t know her.
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