It’s official: After weeks of rumors, Lea Michele is officially replacing “Funny Girl” star Beanie Feldstein on Broadway.
Michele, who got her start on Broadway as a child and is best known for playing musical theater enthusiast Rachel Berry on “Glee,” will take over the role beginning Sept. 6, the show announced Monday. Tovah Feldshuh is also joining the cast, replacing Michele’s “Glee” co-star Jane Lynch as Mrs. Brice.
“A dream come true is an understatement,” Michele wrote Monday on Instagram. “I’m so incredibly honored to join this amazing cast and production and return to the stage playing Fanny Brice on Broadway.”
Previously, Michele appeared in Broadway productions of “Les Misérables,” “Ragtime,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and the original cast of “Spring Awakening.”
On “Glee,” Michele delivered a memorable rendition of the show’s song “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” Later on in the series, her character gets cast as Fanny Brice in a Broadway revival of “Funny Girl.”
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Feldstein confirmed her early exit from the Broadway revival of “Funny Girl” in an Instagram post Sunday, in which the Golden Globe-nominated actress expressed gratitude for the opportunity to portray lead Fanny Brice. Feldstein’s final show is July 31.
“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,” Feldstein wrote.
The “Booksmart” star didn’t go into too much detail, but cited creative differences as the reason for her bowing out of the production.
“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 explained. “I will never forget this experience 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.”
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She added: “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 .”
Feldstein what originally slated to perform in the show through Sept. 25 alongside Lynch, according to the official “Funny Girl” Twitter account. So the account shared in a tweet Sunday that new casting announcements would be made Monday.
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A musical dramedy inspired by the life and career of real-life comedian Fanny Brice, “Funny Girl” follows Brice’s ascent to stardom, as well as her turbulent relationship with gambler Nicky Arnstein.
Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif starred in a film adaptation of the show in 1968, which Streisand earned an Oscar for best actress in a leading role.
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