Benny Feldstein Cuts Short ‘Funny Girl’ Gig on Broadway, Lea Michele Steps Up

JTA – Lea Michele will replace Benny Feldstein as the head of the revival of the Broadway musical “Funny Girl”, which will see Jewish Broadway legend Tova Feldshuh step in a key supporting role.

Mitchell and Feldshuh’s first performance will take place on 6 September. Feldstein announced Sunday that she would be leaving the Broadway show on July 31, earlier than originally planned. Standby Julie Benko will play the role until Michelle’s debut.

“Dream come true is an understatement,” Michelle said in an Instagram post on Monday, the same day the casting was announced.

A “Glee” star and member of the original Broadway cast of “Spring Awakening,” Mitchell was rumored for months to be Feldstein’s replacement. Michelle has made no secret of her admiration for her role as “Funny Girl” and leading Jewish vaudevillian Fanny Bryce, whose story chronicles in the 1964 musical.

He sang a song from the show in tribute to 2011 As for original star Barbra Streisand, whom Michelle has said she idolises. Her Character on “Glee,” Rachel Berry, Even Starred in the Broadway revival of the show-within-a-show of “Funny Girl”. (Michelle performed the show’s signature number, “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” on the live “Glee” tour.)

Michelle, who learned of her Sephardic Jewish ancestry on the 2016 reality show, will be joined in the cast by Feldshuh, who will replace another “Glee” star, Jane Lynch, in the role of Fanny’s mother. Feldshuh is a Broadway veteran who has played Jewish roles on stage and screen, including Yentl in “Yentl”, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in “Golda’s Balcony”, sexologist Dr. Ruth in “Being Dr. Ruth”. Ruth Westheimer is involved. Several roles in the TV miniseries “Holocaust” and the LBGT+ Jewish romcom “Kissing Jessica Stein”, among other works.

“My Judaism is like the third leg that goes deep into the earth,” Feldshuho Once told the Jewish telegraphic agency sister publication Kevlar,

A revival of “Funny Girl”, the first on Broadway since Streisand’s role debut, began in April amid sky-high expectations for Feldstein as headliner. The “Booksmart” and “Lady Bird” star was open about how her Jewish identity informed her desire to do the role, New York Jewish Week That “any Jewish woman who wants to be funny and perform and sing, give something to Fanny Bryce.”

The bittersweet comedy tells the story of a Jewish girl in 1920s New York who, despite criticism for not being traditionally beautiful, moves from cumbersome to Broadway stages. “Funny Girl” is a musical that celebrates oddballs, kookies and misfits.

But it was a rocky road on Broadway for Feldstein, as both his performance and his parade for the Harvey Feierstein-reimagined show rained heavily. she was too turned down a Tony Award, In announce his exitShe suggested she was leaving early as the revival would see major changes.

Britain’s Princess Margaret talks with American singer Barbra Streisand, left, and actor Omar Sharif at the premiere of the film ‘Funny Girl’ at the Odeon Cinema, London, January 15, 1969. (AP photo, file)

“Playing Fanny Bryce on Broadway has been my lifelong dream, and it has been an immense pleasure and a true honor to do so over the past few months,” Feldstein wrote. “Once production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to walk away sooner than I anticipated.”

Her Instagram post was especially liked by Broadway legend Ramin Karimloo, who plays and is living Bryce’s love interest in “Funny Girl.”

It’s not all bad news for Feldstein, though: Last month on social media, she announced that she is engaged To longtime girlfriend Bonnie Chance Roberts. Also present were actor Jonah Hill (Feldstein’s brother) and another Jewish actor, Ben Platt (his longtime friend).

AP contributed to this report

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