‘Funny Girl’ Producers Deny They Were ‘Blindsided’ by Beanie Feldstein’s Exit

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The drama over Beanie Feldstein’s exit from the Broadway revival of Funny Girl has set social media alight in recent days, particularly over speculation that the producers may have been blindsided by her decision to leave.

On Sunday, Feldstein revealed in an Instagram post that she was leaving the production July 31. Last month, producers said she and fellow star Jane Lynch would be departing their roles Sept. 25 instead of at year’s end, as originally expected. In her post, Feldstein said her revised decision came after producers “decided to take the show in a different direction.”

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The following day, the producers cast Lea Michele to play lead Fanny Brice, with Tovah Feldshuh cast as Lynch’s replacement.

Feldstein’s abrupt exit and her cryptic statement as well as the rapid news of Michele’s hiring, on top of the Glee actress’ long and very public desire to play Fanny Brice, set tongues wagging on social media, with speculation that Feldstein’s Instagram post caught Funny Girl’s producers off guard.

On Wednesday, in an unusual joint statement given to The Hollywood Reporter, the producers and a rep for Feldstein sought to dispel the speculation.

“The producers of Funny Girl were not blindsided by Beanie’s social post,” the message read. “The producers decided to take the show in a different direction and end Beanie’s contract on September 25th, 6 months earlier than anticipated.”

The statement continued, “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.”

On Tuesday, Lynch told Deadline that she’s happy that her former Glee co-star Michele will live out a lifelong dream by stepping into the role of Brice, revealing that they’ve been “in touch” about the production in recent weeks. “She’s just going to take this show and make it her own,” she said, adding that it was a “really strong idea” to have Michele and Feldshuh premiere together. “I’m so glad she’s getting the opportunity in real life to do the show and not just on Glee.”

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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