Beanie Feldstein is exiting Funny Girl early come September
Hey Mr. Arnstein, there she goes...
On Wednesday, producers announced that Funny Girl star Beanie Feldstein and her costar Jane Lynch will be exiting the buzzy Broadway revival on September 25. Ramin Karimloo, who stars as Nick Arnstein, and Jared Grimes, Tony-nominated for his turn as dancer Eddie Ryan, will remain with the production.
The news comes as something of a surprise. Funny Girl was one of the most anticipated revivals of the spring season, marking its first return to Broadway since its debut in the 1960s. According to EW's conversation with director Michael Mayer prior to rehearsals, Feldstein was committed to the production for a year.
However, Funny Girl was not the smashing success they all hoped with Feldstein — under intense scrutiny in the role after it was immortalized by Barbra Streisand — receiving less than stellar reviews.
"It's hard to escape the feeling that Feldstein, for all her fourth-wall winks and bright enthusiasm, is fundamentally miscast," wrote EW critic Leah Greenblatt. "This Girl needs a force majeure, not a light breeze, to make it sing."
Replacements for the roles of Fanny Brice and Lynch's part of her mother, Rose, have yet to be announced.
Though surely speculation will be rampant that stand-by Julie Benko, who has filled in for Feldstein during planned absences and Feldstein's recent bout with COVID-19, would be the natural fit.
Benko has received praise for her take on Fanny Brice.
Funny Girl opened on Broadway on April 24 and currently has an open-ended run.