The producers of Broadway's current Funny Girl revival and a rep for star Beanie Feldstein have issued a joint statement in response to rumors surrounding Feldstein's recent announcement that she would depart the production even earlier than initially announced, news she released less than 24 hours before it was revealed that Glee star Lea Michele would succeed Feldstein playing Fanny Brice at the August Wilson Theatre beginning September 6.
"The producers decided to take the show in a different direction and end Beanie's contract on September 25th, six months earlier than anticipated. A month after that decision, Beanie decided it was best for her to leave on July 31st. The producers were aware of and in support of her decision. The producers and Beanie worked on this together professionally, respectfully, and graciously."
With Michele not set to take over in the role until September 6, standby Julie Benko is slated to lead the revival August 2–September 4, and will stay on to cover Thursday performances from September 8. Jane Lynch, currently co-starring as Mrs. Brice, is also set to leave the production, playing her final performance September 4. Four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh will take over for Lynch alongside Michele beginning September 6.
Funny Girl, which premiered on Broadway in 1964, features a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill and a book by Isobel Lennart, newly adapted by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein for this revival. The original production propelled a young Streisand to international fame; she would reprise her stage performance in the 1968 film adaptation, winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in the process. The biomusical tracks real-life singer and comic Fanny Brice from her humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York, to fame and fortune onstage in the Ziegfeld Follies and as a radio and screen performer.
The production is directed by Michael Mayer with choreography by Ellenore Scott, tap choreography by Ayodele Casel, music supervision and direction by Michael Rafter, scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kevin Adams, sound design by Brian Ronan, and hair design by Campbell Young Associates. Casting is by Jim Carnahan and Jason Thinger. The production also includes orchestrations by Chris Walker; dance, vocal, and incidental music arrangements by Alan Williams; additional arrangements by Carmel Dean and David Dabbon; music coordination by Seymour Red Press and Kimberlee Wertz; and vocal supervision by Liz Caplan.
The revival is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Landis, and David Babani, along with Roy Furman, No Guarantees, Adam Blanshay Productions, Daryl Roth, Stephanie P. Mcclelland, Lang Entertainment Group, Playing Field, Gavin Kalin, Charles & Nicolas Talar, Fakston Productions, Sanford Robertson, Craig Balsam, Cue To Cue Productions, Leonofffedermanwolofsky Productions, Judith Ann Abrams / Peter May, Hunter Arnold, Creative Partners Productions, Elizabeth Armstrong, Jane Bergère, Jean Doumanian, Larry Magid, Rosalind Productions, Iris Smith Kevin & Trudy Sullivan, Julie Boardman / Kate Cannova, Heni Koenigsberg / Michelle Riley, Mira Road Productions / Seaview, In Fine Company, Elie Landau, Brian Moreland, Henry R. Muñoz III & Kyle Ferari Muñoz, and Maggioabrams/Brian & Dayna Lee.