Theatre News

”Funny Girl” Broadway producers confirm releasing Beanie Feldstein from her contract six months early

Beanie Feldstein in Funny Girl
Beanie Feldstein in Funny Girl
© Matthew Murphy

In a joint statement to People, the producers of Funny Girl and representatives for outgoing leading lady Beanie Feldstein have confirmed that Feldstein was released from her contract six months early, perhaps in an effort to quell ongoing industry gossip about the situation.

Feldstein took to Instagram on 10 July to say that she had decided to leave the show on 31 July, nearly two months earlier than her originally announced 25 September end date. After much speculation, the production confirmed on 11 July that Feldstein would be replaced by Lea Michele, who would join the cast on 6 September, with standby Julie Benko essaying the role in the interim.

There was much speculation regarding Feldstein’s choice of wording as she said the production “decided to take the show in a different direction.” According to the People statement, that direction was one that did not include her in the cast.

“The producers of Funny Girl were not blindsided by Beanie’s social post,” the producers and Feldstein’s representatives told the publication in a joint statement. “The producers decided to take the show in a different direction and end Beanie’s contract on 25 September, 6 months earlier than anticipated. A month after that decision, Beanie decided it was best for her to leave on 31 July. The producers were aware of and in support of her decision. The producers and Beanie worked on this together professionally, respectfully and graciously.”

Feldstein opened the production, which is directed by Michael Mayer at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre, in April. While the show was well-received by audiences, reviews were largely negative and the revival only managed to secure a single Tony nomination (for cast member Jared Grimes).

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