You might have seen rumours swirling around of Lea Michele replacing Beanie Feldstein in Broadway’s revival Funny Girl… well, they’re true!
Yes, the Glee star will take to the stage later this year after Beanie steps down from the role of Fanny Brice.
Beanie announced on Sunday that she would be leaving the role on July 31, which is almost two months earlier than she was set to depart from the production.
The Booksmart actress said she was exiting the role early since the production team wanted to ‘take the show in a different direction.’
Since Lea will not take on the role of Fanny until September 6, in the interim, Julie Benko will step in, performing in the protagonist’s shoes from August 2 until September 4.
She’ll also perform every Thursday beginning on September 8.
Perhaps it’s fate that Lea secured the big part, since her character Rachel Berry on Glee sang almost every song from the musical, including My Man, Don’t Rain on My Parade, and I’m the Greatest Star.
In fact, after Rachel graduated, she actually went on to star in Funny Girl on Broadway too, so maybe it was just meant to be! Lea will also have had plenty of practice performing the hits after six seasons of Glee.
Proving that the universe does work in remarkable ways, she told Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2017 that she ‘really hoped’ to appear in Funny Girl herself one day.
‘We were thinking of doing it right after Glee, but I did a lot of the songs from Funny Girl on Glee so it felt like a little soon. But I feel really ready to do it now, so maybe we could do it soon,’ she said at the time – isn’t that magical?
Broadway’s revival of Funny Girl began back in April, telling the story of Fanny Brice amid her rise to fame and her rocky relationship with gambler Nicky Arnstein.
Funny Girl first opened in Broadway back in 1964, with the iconic Barbara Streisand as the lead, with the show nominated for a multitude of awards, including eight Tonys.
Taking to Instagram to share her excitement following her casting, Lea wrote: ‘A dream come true is an understatement. I’m so incredibly honoured to join this amazing cast and production and return to the stage playing Fanny Brice on Broadway. See you September 6th. @funnygirlbwy #FUNNYGIRL’.
Fans were delighted for Lea, especially those who were avid viewers of Glee.
‘Finally!!!!! So happy for you!’, one person commented, while another said: ‘Rachel Berry, now you!!! Oh my god!!!!! Congrats 👏🏻x’.
‘My Glee kid heart is screaming,’ penned another.
Lea will be joined by Tovah Feldshuh in September, as Jane Lynch (who plays Mrs Brice) also steps down from her role earlier than expected.