This week it was revealed that Beanie Feldstein would be stepping away from her role as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway with the ever-controversial Lea Michele serving as her replacement. Feldstein recalled via a statement on Instagram that she made the “difficult decision” as the lauded musical was taking a “different direction”.
“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 honour,” she wrote.”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 news has garnered so much discussion that it was trending on Google far higher than the new The Kardashian’s trailer. Seriously. Viewers of the 2009 series Glee would recall that Michele’s divisive character Rachel was a huge fan of Funny Girl and performed a powerful rendition of “Don’t Rain On My Parade” in season one. After graduation Rachel went on to earn the lead of the musical. Art imitating life, certainly. But the series wasn’t without some serious backlash.
In the years following the series finale, many co-stars have gone on to call out Michele’s bullying from on the set. In an interview with Heather Morris, she recalled the toxic culture, saying, “I know, genuinely, I didn’t feel like it was my place. And I don’t know why, because I was a cast member just like everybody else, and we all deserve to feel comfortable on a set.”
In a 2020 tweet, fellow cast member Samantha Ware echoed the allegations. “LMAO REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET,” she tweeted. “I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD “SHIT IN MY WIG!” AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD…”
funny girl’s producers after deciding to go with lea michele pic.twitter.com/mHMSh7ihgp
— m (@bigIttIeIies) July 11, 2022
Adding further speculation, it was revealed that Jane Lynch who portrayed Sue Sylvester in Glee had also planned to depart the Funny Girl musical with Feldstein.
Jane Lynch is leaving Funny Girl the day Lea Michele joins just so she can buy tickets and leave halfway through
— ski (@shyingflutters) July 11, 2022
Keeping up? It also comes after conjecture that Michele had planned to air her HBO documentary Spring Awakening the very same night Funny Girl opened on Broadway. We’ll leave that up to you to consider.
The actress will star alongside Tova Felshuh in the musical from September 6.