AceShowbiz - Beanie Feldstein "decided it was best for her" to leave "Funny Girl" early. Producers have now insisted that the 29-year-old actress, who starred as Fanny Brice in the Broadway musical since April 2022, made the decision to cut her contract almost six months earlier than planned on her own after creators decided to take the show in a "different direction."
"The producers decided to take the show in a different direction and end Beanie's contract on September 25th, six months earlier than anticipated," a representative for the show told PEOPLE. "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."
Beanie is due to be replaced in the role, which was made famous by Barbra Streisand in the 1968 film, by former "Glee" star Lea Michele in September, with understudy Julie Benko taking over in the meantime.
An insider also alleged that casting Lea was a "smart move" for the show after it failed to garner more than one nomination at the Tony Awards. The source said, "[Casting Lea] is a very smart financial decision. You could not overcome the reviews and the lack of the Tony nominations."
The news came just days after Beanie announced on social media that she had made the "extremely difficult decision" to leave the show but insisted that her short time in the role had been a "great joy" and a"true honor."
On Sunday, July 10, the "How to Build a Girl" actress wrote, "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," she went on to explain. "I will never forget this experience and from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every single person who came to August Wilson for the love and support you have shown me and our amazing cast and crew."