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Beanie Feldstein Leaving Broadway Revival of ‘Funny Girl’ Early, Citing Change in ‘Direction’

Beanie Feldstein at the Funny Girl
Nina Westervelt for Variety

Beanie Feldstein will leave the Broadway revival of “Funny Girl” on July 31, roughly two months before she was slated to depart the production.

In a statement on Instagram, Feldstein attributed her early exit to a decision by the production “to take the show in a different direction.” It’s unclear what that direction was.

Feldstein, a movie star who has appeared in “Lady Bird” and “Booksmart,” has had a rough go of it. She was snubbed by the Tony Awards, which only gave “Funny Girl” a single nomination, and has had to miss multiple performances, owing to a COVID diagnosis in June and for other unspecified reasons.

Reviews have also been unkind, with some critics comparing Feldstein to original star Barbra Streisand and finding her wanting (but, then again, who wouldn’t be?). Ticket sales have also flagged in recent weeks.

“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 posted on Instagram. “Once the production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated. 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.”

The change in casting that was originally announced for September also included the planned departure of Jane Lynch, alongside Feldstein. It remains unclear if Lynch’s timeline to remain with “Funny Girl” has been altered or abbreviated as Feldstein’s has been.

A spokesperson for “Funny Girl” did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, the production plans to make a formal announcement regarding casting for Fanny Brice tomorrow afternoon, asking fans to “Stay tuned.” Lea Michele, the former star of “Glee,” is reportedly being eyed as a replacement for Feldstein, who was originally supposed to end her run in September.

J. Kim Murphy contributed to this piece.