Lea Michele is to join the cast of the Broadway revival of Funny Girl, it’s been officially announced.
The new production opened earlier this year at the August Wilson Theatre in New York.
After weeks of rumours and speculation, the production has confirmed that Glee star Lea Michele will join the cast as Fanny Brice from 6 September.
Michele takes over the role from Beanie Feldstein who was originally due to play her final performance in September. At the weekend she abruptly announced her last show would now be 31 July.
Feldstein wrote on social media: “Playing Fanny Brice on Broadway has been a lifelong dream of mine, and doing so for the last few months has been a great joy and true honor. Once the production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated.
“I will never forget this experience and from the bottom of my heart, want to thank every single person who came to the August Wilson for the love and support you have shown me and our amazing cast and crew.
“The people I have had the great joy of bringing Funny Girl to life with every night, both on and off the stage, are all remarkably talented and exceptional humans and I hope you continue to join them on Henry Street after I depart on July 31st.”
From 2 August until 4 September the role will be played by current standby Julie Benko.
Additionally, it’s been revealed that Michele’s Glee co-star and current cast member Jane Lynch will play her final performance on 4 September Tovah Feldshuh will takeover.
Further casting for the revival includes Ramin Karimloo as Nick Arnstein.
This bittersweet comedy is the story of the indomitable Fanny Brice, a girl from the Lower East Side who dreamed of a life on the stage.
Everyone told her she’d never be a star, but then something funny happened—she became one of the most beloved performers in history, shining brighter than the brightest lights of Broadway.
The new revival production is directed by Michael Mayer with choreography from Ellenore Scott, tap choreography by Ayodele Casel and scenic design by David Zinn.
Harvey Fierstein has penned an updated book for the show which has music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill and an original book by Isobel Lennart.