Jane Lynch will be leaving Funny Girl’s new Broadway revival on August 14, three weeks earlier than originally expected.
Although she was originally scheduled to leave on September 4, she already had a planned vacation from August 15 to August 23, the production told the Hollywood Reporter.
She would also drop out of the show on September 1 so she could cross the country to Los Angeles for the Creative Arts Emmys.
As a result, producers decided the 62-year-old could leave production later this week, rather than just letting Jane come back for a week.
On the way out: Jane Lynch will be leaving the new Broadway revival of Funny Girl later this week – three weeks earlier than originally expected; seen in March
Jane has been part of the current revival since it opened this year on April 24 with Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein in the title role of Fanny Brice – a role famously originated by Barbra Streisand in 1964.
The current production stars Jane as 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 scheduled to take over for Jane on September 6th and that date remains 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 it was announced in July that Lea Michele would replace her in September.
Side by Side: Jane has been part of the current revival since it opened this year on April 24 with Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein in the title role of Fanny Brice
Curtain up: Producers decided the 62-year-old could leave production later this week, rather than just letting Jane come back for a week
Lea, who sang several Streisand-style Funny Girl songs on Glee a few years ago, is now in rehearsals for the stage musical.
Although it was originally announced that Beanie would be leaving the show on September 25, she launched her Instagram in mid-July and shocked her fans by declaring that she was indeed leaving the show earlier in the month.
It’s been claimed Beanie learned from Gawker that she was being replaced by Lea after a string of bad reviews, and was in such a state of being booted out of her “dream role” that she surprised producers by publicly quitting early.
An inside source told The Daily Beast that Beanie, whose older brother is Jonah Hill, was “basically fired” from the show.
Triumph: Beanie received a spate of bad reviews for the new revival, and it was announced in July that Lea Michele (pictured) would replace her in September
New Role: Tovah Feldshuh was due to take over Jane on September 6th and that date remains unchanged, so Jane’s standby Liz McCartney will play Rose in the meantime
However, the producers and a representative for Beanie told 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 ended Beanie’s contract on September 25th, 6 months earlier than expected. A month after making that decision, Beanie decided it would be best for her to leave on July 31st. The producers were aware of their decision and supported it.”
The statement concluded, “The producers and Beanie have cooperated in a professional, respectful and gracious manner.”
Until Lea’s takeover in September, Fanny is played by Julie Benko, who served as Beanie’s understudy and received critical acclaim online when she landed the role.
Busy at work: Lea, who sang several Funny Girl songs on Glee in the style of Barbra Streisand a few years ago, is now in rehearsals for the stage musical
The current revival of Funny Girl 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 disappointing critical reception, including from the New York Times, whose theatrical reviews could make or break a show decades ago.
The New York Times review noted that the role was molded around Barbra’s ability, and that July Styne composed the music in such a way that “only Barbra could sing it”.
Funny Girl was originally a passion project for producer Ray Stark, who was married to Frances Arnstein, daughter of the late Fanny Brice.
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 launched Lea into stardom in 2006
The show presented a fictionalized account of Fanny’s rise to fame in the 1910s and her marriage to Frances’ father, con-gambler Nicky Arnstein.
For her debut Broadway show as a leading actress, Barbra worked with composer Jule Styne, lyricist Bob Merrill, author Isobel Lennart and director Garson Kanin.
Already a showstopper on the Broadway show I Can Get It For You Wholesale and had edited a couple of albums, it was Funny Girl that made her a superstar.
The score produced one of their most enduring hits – People – which became the title track of their album that blew 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 rallied old Hollywood stars like director William Wyler and cinematographer Harry Stradling
When the show opened on Broadway it was a smash hit and received an enthusiastic response for its performance, which it took to London.
Barbra starred alongside Charlie Chaplin’s son Sydney – with whom she had an affair during her marriage to first husband Elliott Gould.
She reprized her role for the film, which rallied old Hollywood stars like director William Wyler and cinematographer Harry Stradling.
Stick to the jokes: the show presented a fictionalized account of Fanny’s rise to fame in the 1910s; Fanny is featured in a 1911 promotional photo for the Ziegfeld Follies
Her leading actor 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 went public 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, and Roger Ebert wrote, “The problem with Funny Girl is almost everything but Barbra Streisand. She’s gorgeous.”
Although the film led to a critically ravaged 1975 sequel called Funny Lady, the show has never before been revived on the Great White Way.
Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady: Her leading actor in the film was Omar Sharif, who played Fanny’s first husband, the con man Nicky Arnstein
A Broadway revival was attempted in 2011 starring Lauren Ambrose as Fanny but was ultimately scrapped due to problems raising money.
However, in 2015 and 2016 a London production starring Sheridan Smith in the title role managed to become a smash hit.
The show went from a limited engagement at the Menier Chocolate Factory to an extended run at the Savoy Theatre, which was then extended by popular demand.