Funny Girl producers and a rep for Beanie Feldstein have issued a joint statement amid the recent shakeup with the Broadway show.
It was recently announced that Lea Michele would take over the lead role of Fanny Brice after Feldstein confirmed she’d be departing at the end of July.
Jane Lynch is also leaving and will be replaced by Tovah Feldshuh who will be taking over the role of Brice’s mother.
Feldstein issued a statement on social media regarding the news and it was rumoured that the post had caught the production team off guard.
However, they’ve since told People that this was not the case.
“The producers of Funny Girl were not blindsided by Beanie’s social post,” producers for the show and Feldstein’s rep said. “The producers decided to take the show in a different direction and end Beanie’s contract on September 25th, 6 months earlier than anticipated.
“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.”
A source told the publication that bosses’ decision to bring Michele in as Feldstein’s replacement was “a very smart financial decision” for the show, adding: “You could not overcome the reviews and the lack of the Tony nomination.”
Another insider insisted the mixed reaction to the show was not the reason behind Feldstein’s exit: “Regardless of how the show was received, Beanie was committed to playing the role through the entirety of her contract.”