Jane Lynch is leaving Funny Girl’s new Broadway revival on August 14, three weeks earlier than originally expected.
Although she was initially set to leave on September 4, she already had a vacation planned from August 15 to 23, the production told the Hollywood reporter.
She would also be off the show on September 1, so she could cross the country to Los Angeles for the Creative Arts Emmys.
As a result, the producers decided that instead of returning Jane for just one week, the 62-year-old could leave production at the end of this week.
Heading Out: Jane Lynch is leaving Funny Girl’s new Broadway revival late this week—three weeks ahead of schedule; seen in march
Jane has been part of the current revival since opening this year on April 24 with Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein in the title role of Fanny Brice – a role famously conceived by Barbra Streisand in 1964.
In the current production, Jane plays the role of Fanny’s mother Rose, who was played by Kay Medford in both the original production and the 1968 film adaptation, for which Barbra won her first Oscar.
Tovah Feldshuh was set to take over from Jane on September 6, and that date is unchanged, so Jane’s standby Liz McCartney will play Rose in the meantime.
Beanie received a spate of bad reviews for the new revival, and in July it was announced that Lea Michele would be replacing her in September.
Side by side: Jane has been part of the current revival since opening this year on April 24 with Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein in the title role of Fanny Brice
Curtain call: The producers decided the 62-year-old could leave production at the end of this week instead of Jane coming back for just one week
Lea, who sang several Funny Girl songs on Glee in the style of Streisand several years ago, is now rehearsing for the musical.
Although it was initially announced that Beanie would be leaving the show on September 25, she took to Instagram in mid-July and shocked her fans by declaring that she would indeed be leaving the show early at the end of that month.
It was alleged that Beanie found out from Gawker that she was being replaced by Lea after a string of bad reviews, and that she was in such a state of being pulled from her “dream role” that she surprised the producers by publicly quitting early.
An inside source presented to The everyday beast that Beanie, whose older brother is Jonah Hill, was “essentially fired” from the show.
Triumph: Beanie received a spate of bad reviews for the new revival, and in July it was announced that Lea Michele (pictured) would be replacing her in September
New role: Tovah Feldshuh was set to take on Jane on September 6, and that date is unchanged, so Jane’s standby Liz McCartney will play Rose in the meantime
But the producers and a Beanie representative said: People in a joint statement: “The producers of Funny Girl were not caught off guard by Beanie’s social post.”
They continued: “The producers decided to take the show in a different direction and end Beanie’s contract on September 25, six months earlier than expected. A month after that decision, Beanie decided it was best for her to leave on July 31. The producers were aware of and supported her decision.’
The statement concluded: “The producers and Beanie worked together on this professionally, respectfully and graciously.”
Until Lea’s takeover in September, Fanny is played by Julie Benko, who served as Beanie’s understudy and earned online praise when she stepped into the role.
Hard at work: Lea, who sang several Funny Girl songs on Glee in the style of Barbra Streisand several years ago, is now rehearsing for the musical
The current Funny Girl revival is directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony for the original production of Spring Awakening – the show that made Lea a Broadway star.
Beanie opened on the show on April 24 and received a disappointing critical response, including from the New York Timeswhose theater reviews could make or break a performance decades ago.
The New York Times review noted that the role was sculpted around Barbra’s abilities and that July Styne composed the music so that “only Barbra could sing it.”
Funny Girl was originally a passion project for producer Ray Stark, who was married to the late Fanny Brice’s daughter Frances Arnstein.
Who’s Who: The current Funny Girl revival is directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony for the original production of Spring Awakening — the show that made Lea a star in 2006
The show presented a fictionalized account of Fanny’s rise in the 1910s and her marriage to Frances’ father, the con-gamer Nicky Arnstein.
For her first Broadway show as the lead, Barbra collaborated with composer Jule Styne, lyricist Bob Merrill, book writer Isobel Lennart and director Garson Kanin.
She was already a showstopper on the Broadway show I Can Get It For You Wholesale and made a few albums, but it was Funny Girl that made her a superstar.
The score produced one of her most enduring hits – People – which became the title track to her album that drove the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night from number one.
The music that makes me dance: Barbra takes the stage in the original production of Funny Girl – the project that made her a superstar
Forever more: Barbra reprized her stage role for the film, which gathered old Hollywood stars like director William Wyler and cinematographer Harry Stradling
When the show opened on Broadway, it was a huge success and she received enthusiastic reactions for her performance, which she also took to London.
Barbra starred opposite Charlie Chaplin’s son Sydney, with whom she had an affair during her marriage to her first husband Elliott Gould.
She reprized her role for the film, which gathered longtime Hollywood stalwarts such as director William Wyler and cinematographer Harry Stradling.
Keep for the jokes: The show presented a fictionalized account of Fanny’s rise in the 1910s; Fanny is depicted in a publicity photo for the Ziegfeld Follies in 1911
Her lead in the film was Omar Sharif, with whom she also had an affair – and with whom she caused a scandal when a still of one of their staged kisses was shot for the film in 1967, the year of the Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel.
The film was the highest grossing film of 1968, with Roger Ebert writing, “The problem with Funny Girl is almost anything but Barbra Streisand. She’s gorgeous.’
Although the film led to a critical sequel called Funny Lady in 1975, the show has never before been revived on the Great White Way.
Sadie, Sadie, married woman: Her lead in the film was Omar Sharif, who played Fanny’s first husband, the con-gamer Nicky Arnstein
A Broadway revival was attempted in 2011 starring Lauren Ambrose as Fanny, but was eventually scrapped due to problems raising money.
In 2015 and 2016, however, a London production with Sheridan Smith in the title role managed to become a resounding success.
The show went from a limited involvement at the Menier Chocolate Factory to a longer run at the Savoy Theater, which was then extended by popular demand.