It was recently announced that both Beanie Feldstein & Jane Lynch would be departing the much-lauded Broadway run of Funny Girl on September 25th after abysmal reviews such as The Hollywood Reporter, where in one way or the other, they had the production falling directly on its own proverbial “Fanny”. Moments after the announcement, the rumors started buzzing about who would be replacing Feldstein as Fanny Brice in the production, and now it looks like we have (unofficially) received our answer. After weeks of light rumors, Gawker is officially reporting that Lea Michele will be replacing Feldstein in the role on September 30th.
The source indicates that their information is courtesy of a press release that is floating around New York City theater circles, which indicate Michele will be stepping into the shoes of the indomitable Ms. Brice six nights a week, with Julie Benko serving as understudy for the other two performances. A possible Tony Award however, will continue to elude Ms. Michele should she officially take the role, as she is unfortunately not eligible for a Tony nomination
While Michele did applaud Feldstein on Twitter following the initial casting announcement (Michele tweeted out “Yes! YOU are the greatest star! This is going to be epic!!!”), Michele has had her eyes set on the iconic role of Fanny Brice for quite some time. As one of the breakout stars of Glee, Michele channeled her best La Streisand and belted out the iconic “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, which many considered an unofficial audition for the a potential Broadway run. When producing titan Ryan Murphy initially snagged the rights to Funny Girl, Michele spoke to Broadway World, and said in part “We are definitely talking about it now. We have the rights. And, right now, we are talking to some potential directors – we have someone really amazing in mind. We probably won’t have the opportunity to do it for a while, though, because we still have a long time left on GLEE. But, yes, you are right – Ryan does have the rights. And, when the time is right and I have had the chance to get some good rest for a while after Glee and I feel ready to do it then definitely we will do it”.
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