Hello, funny girl.
Ahead of her Funny Girl debut on Sept. 6, Lea Michele is showing her support for predecessor Beanie Feldstein. In fact, the actress revealed that she had a chance to watch Beanie play Fanny Brice, before her departure earlier this summer.
"I saw the show," she told People. "I wrote her and told her what an incredible job I thought that she did. "I thought she was hilarious and beautiful and so wonderful."
The Glee alum shut down rumors of bad blood between the leading ladies. "I think that everybody thinks everything is so drama-filled," she said. "I also think that people really love the excitement of pitting women against each other, which I think is really sad and unfortunate."
Beanie who led the musical's Broadway revival which opened April 2022, announced July 10 that she was leaving the production at the end of the month. In a post on social media, the Booksmart actress shared her gratitude for her time on stage and explained why she would be stepping away before her original Sept. 25 departure date.
"Playing Fanny Brice on Broadway has been a lifelong dream of mine," she wrote in her message. "And doing so for the last few months has been a great joy and true honor. I will never forget this experience and from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every single person who came to the August Wilson for the love and support you have shown me and our amazing cast and crew."
A day after Beanie shared the news of her early exit, Funny Girl producers announced Lea would be assuming the role in September. In the meantime, Beanie's understudy, Julie Benko, has played Fanny Brice, and will continue to perform the role once a week once the Scream Queens actress takes over.
Stepping into the role of comedian Fanny Brice, originally played by Barbra Streisand in the 1964 Broadway production, is a dream come true for Lea. In a July 11 Instagram post, Lea shared her excitement with her followers. "I'm so incredibly honored to join this amazing cast and production and return to the stage playing Fanny Brice on Broadway. See you September 6th."
The Spring Awakening star told People she has never felt more ready to take on this role than right now. Lea added, "I look to not only do a great job onstage every night, but do a great job offstage every single day, to be there for the cast and to be a leader."
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