Funny Girl Producers Confirm Releasing Beanie Feldstein From Her Contract Six Months Early
In a joint statement to People, the producers of Funny Girl and representatives for outgoing leading lady Beanie Feldstein have confirmed that Feldstein was released from her contract six months early, perhaps in an effort to quell ongoing industry gossip about the situation.
Feldstein took to Instagram on July 10 to say that she had decided to leave the show on July 31, nearly two months earlier than her originally announced September 25 end date. After much speculation, the production confirmed on July 11 that Feldstein would be replaced by Lea Michele, who would join the cast on September 6, with standby Julie Benko essaying the role in the interim.
There was much speculation regarding Feldstein's choice of wording as she said the production "decided to take the show in a different direction." According to the People statement, that direction was one that did not include her in the cast.
"The producers of Funny Girl were not blindsided by Beanie's social post," the producers and Feldstein's representatives told the publication in a joint statement. "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."
Feldstein opened the production, which is directed by Michael Mayer at the August Wilson Theatre, in April. While the show was well received by audiences, reviews were largely negative and there was not much love for the first-ever Broadway revival of the piece during this season's awards period.