Beanie Feldstein (Photo Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com)
She’s the greatest star! After years of speculation surrounding the eventual return of Funny Girl to the Great White Way, the beloved musical will bow on Broadway in the spring of 2022. After Lea Michele sang the rousing “Don’t Rain On My Parade” on the TV show Glee, rumors swirled that she would headline an eventual Broadway run; Idina Menzel had also expressed interest in performing in the show. Now, industry sources share that Beanie Feldstein will play the titular character, Fanny Bryce, in a splashy production to premiere on April 2 of next year.
The buzz began when an Equity casting call listed it was seeking roles for Funny Girl in a new production directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony for helming Spring Awakening. The notice listed the musical’s original creative team (book by Isobel Lennert, music by Julie Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill) but also shared that Tony winner Harvey Fierstein was contributing a “revised book” and that Ellenore Scott and Ayodele Casel are the show’s choreographer and tap choreographer, respectfully.
The casting notice stated that the show’s two leads, Fanny Brice and Nick Arnstein, were already cast. Barbra Streisand originated the role of Fanny Brice in the 1964 musical (garnering a Tony nomination) and 1968 film (winning an Academy Award). Omar Sharif played Nick in the film adaptation.
Feldstein rose to fame thanks to her supporting role and comedic chops in the Bette Middler-led revival of Hello, Dolly! Feldstein is also slated to appear in a film adaptation of Merrily We Roll Along alongside her friend Ben Platt. However, she’s no stranger to the silver screen, appearing in Booksmart (which earned her a Golden Globe nomination) and the Lady Bird. She will also star as Monica Lewinsky in the third season of “American Crime Story,” subtitled “Impeachment.”
Official casting and further information about this production are yet to be announced.