Funny Girl producers have set the record straight regarding the drama surrounding Beanie Feldstein's departure. When Feldstein announced on Sunday evening via Instagram post that she would be departing the show July 31st, ahead of her previously scheduled departure date of September 25th, rumors began swirling online with outlets reporting that her announcement had caught producers by surprise.
In a statement published in PEOPLE, producers stated "The producers of Funny Girl were not blindsided by Beanie's social post. 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."
At the same time Beanie shared her announcement, the show posted on social media an announcement would be made regarding her replacement, now revealed to be Glee star Lea Michele, the following day.
On her being cast, Michele wrote "A dream come true is an understatement. 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."
With music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Isobel Lennart, Funny Girl was a Broadway smash which skyrocketed Barbra Streisand to stardom. The show follows Fanny Brice, who rose from the Lower East Side of New York to become one of Broadway's biggest stars under producer Florenz Ziegfeld. While she was cheered onstage as a great comedienne, offstage she faced a doomed relationship with the man she loved. The score features now-classic songs such as "People", "You Are Woman, I Am Man" and "Don't Rain on My Parade."