Jane Lynch will depart Broadway’s Funny Girl even earlier than expected, producers announced today. The former Glee actor will end her run as “Mrs. Brice” on Sunday, August 14, several weeks earlier than the Sept. 4 date most recently announced (that date, too, was earlier than the originally planned Sept. 25 exit).
According to producers, Lynch had a long-scheduled vacation set to begin on Monday, August 15 and was set to return to the show on Tuesday, August 23, before departing for the Creative Arts Emmys on Thursday, September 1. “Rather than return for one week of performances, the producers have agreed to adjust her final performance to Sunday, August 14,” according to a statement.
Lynch’s “Mrs. Brice” standby, Liz McCartney, is scheduled to play the role from Tuesday, August 16 – Sunday, September 4, after which four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh will take over permanently on Tuesday, September 6.
The production’s original “Fanny Brice,” Beanie Feldstein, left the production on July 31 following a troubled engagement during which she received some harsh reviews, missed a number of performances and finally announced her early departure after producers had lined up Lea Michele to take over the role upon Feldstein’s exit.
Both Michele and Feldshuh will debut in the production on September 6. “Fanny” standby Julie Benko will continue in that role until Michele joins the production.
Lynch said in a statement, “With my long-planned vacation on the books and then the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony in LA on Thursday, September 1, I will take my final curtain call on August 14. As I embark upon my last week in Funny Girl, my heart is filled with gratitude for this wildly talented company led by Beanie Feldstein and our wonderful audiences for keeping theater alive! I offer a special thanks to my current scene partner Julie Benko and will be back to see my friend Lea Michele light up the lights.”
Funny Girl currently stars Benko through Sunday, September 4, alongside Ramin Karimloo as “Nick Arnstein” and Jared Grimes as “Eddie Ryan.”
Benko will perform the title role on Thursdays beginning Thursday, September 8.
Michael Mayer directs the production, which features a score by Jule Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill, (comprising additional songs from Styne & Merrill). The original book by Isobel Lennart, from an original story by Miss Lennart, is revised by Harvey Fierstein.
Funny Girl is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Landis, David Babani, Roy Furman, No Guarantees, Adam Blanshay Productions, Daryl Roth, Stephanie P. McClelland, Lang Entertainment Group, Playing Field, Gavin Kalin, Charles & Nicolas Talar, Fakston Productions, Sanford Robertson, Craig Balsam, Cue to Cue Productions, LenoffFedermanWolofsky Productions, Judith Ann Abrams / Peter May, Hunter Arnold, Creative Partners Productions, Elizabeth Armstrong, Jane Bergère, Jean Doumanian, Larry Magid, Rosalind Productions, Iris Smith, Kevin & Trudy Sullivan, Julie Boardman / Kate Cannova, Heni Koenigsberg / Michelle Riley, Mira Road Productions / Seaview, In Fine Company, Elie Landau, Brian Moreland, Henry R. Muñoz III & Kyle Ferari Muñoz, MaggioAbrams / Brian & Dayna Lee