It is an incredible time to be a fan of drama, both theatrical and interpersonal. Beanie Feldstein is out at Funny Girl, Lea Michele is in, but only after Julie Benko stars in the show for a month. What do any of those words mean? And who is screaming? Never fear, I am here to break down all of the latest reports and gossip from the complete mess that is Funny Girl on Broadway.
I assume you know that yesterday it was officially announced that Lea Michele would be coming into the role in September. And that on Sunday Feldstein took matters into her own hands and announced that she would be leaving earlier than we all expected. If you didn’t know, now you do.
Yesterday, Page Six reported that producers from the show felt “blindsided” by Feldstein releasing her own statement. The tabloid’s source said that there was an announcement planned for the following day, but the Booksmart star went off script and released her own. In her notes app missive, Feldstein said that her decision came after “the production decided to take the show in a different direction.”
“She clearly doesn’t give a shit,” said the source. And you know what? She shouldn’t! She was horribly miscast to begin with, and the production team has done nothing to help her beat the “Beanie Flopstein” charges.
Hours later, Page Six published another report claiming that Feldstein had been “basically fired” before announcing her departure from the show. Obviously whoever is talking to the tabs is #TeamLea.
“The social media post was her quitting after being fired,” a source said. A different source said that producers had “turned sour” on Feldstein after the deluge of negative reviews and poor box office numbers.
Yet another source (possibly one from Feldstein’s camp) said that “producers were absolutely aware she was making this announcement and they approved that language.” They also noted that an email was sent out by the producers to the company alerting them of her last performance and that “it was not a surprise to anyone.” This is one of those situations where you just have to pick a side, I guess.
Additionally, a source told Time Out reporter Adam Feldman there’s “a lot of screaming” and that “the next two weeks are gonna be messy and wild.” Feldman wrote on Twitter that “this does not seem to be a peaceful transition!” I would venture to say that that’s an understatement.
In the middle of all of this, there is Julie Benko, the Fanny Brice standby. She’ll be performing the role from August 2 to September 4. From everything I’ve heard about the production, the one thing everyone can agree on is that she is incredible in the role. So if you’re averse to mess and taking sides, maybe just get a ticket to see her in August.
And if you are involved in the production of Funny Girl and want to reveal any secretas, email us at email@example.com.