Surprise, gorgeous! The official Twitter account for the Broadway revival of Funny Girl announced on Monday (July 11) that Lea Michele would replace Beanie Feldstein as the show’s lead actress, portraying Fanny Brice.
The casting announcement comes the day after Feldstein posted a heartfelt note on Instagram revealing that she would be leaving Funny Girl earlier than expected. “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. “The people I have had the great joy of bringing Funny girl to life with every night… are all remarkably talented and exceptional humans and I hope you continue to join them on Henry Street after I depart on July 31.”
Feldstein was originally slated to leave the production on Sept. 25.
Shortly following the casting announcement, Lea Michele took to Instagram to share her thoughts. “A dream come true is an understatement. I’m so incredibly honored to join this amazing cast and production and return to the stage playing Fanny Brice on Broadway,” she shared. “See you September 6.”
The Emmy-nominated actress will be joined by Tony-nominee Tovah Feldshuh (Mrs. Brice) in this updated version of the revival. Funny Girl has faced a rocky return to Broadway; middling reviews and a lackluster reception from the Tony Awards (the musical received just one nomination) have soured its run so far. The new staging is a revival of the original 1964 production, which starred the legendary Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice.
Michele sang five songs from the Funny Girl score in her years playing Rachel Berry on Glee: “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “My Man,” “You Are Woman/I Am Man” (a collab with Ioan Gruffudd), “People” and “I’m the Greatest Star.” Michele also performed “My Man” when Streisand received MusiCares’ person of the year honor in 2011.
See the announcement and Lea Michele’s reaction below:
Emmy Award-nominee LEA MICHELE and Tony Award-nominee TOVAH FELDSHUH join #FUNNYGIRL beginning September 6!
Don’t miss Beanie Feldstein until July 31 only, followed by @JujujulieBee through September 4.
See you at the August Wilson, gorgeous!⭐️ pic.twitter.com/bvqArWoMJa
— Funny Girl on Broadway (@FunnyGirlBwy) July 11, 2022