Jane Lynch has set an earlier departure from Broadway's Funny Girl, and will now end her run as Mrs. Brice August 14 at the August Wilson Theatre. Standby Liz McCartney will take over the role August 16–September 4, with Tovah Feldshuh beginning as announced alongside Glee star Lea Michele September 6.
Lynch's accelerated exit is the latest of several similar moves for the Broadway revival. Original star Beanie Feldstein and Lynch were initially slated to continue with the production through September 25, but Feldstein later moved that date to July 31 and Lynch to September 4—but according to Lynch, this latest development is only due to a strained schedule in light of a pre-planned August vacation and her surprise Emmy nomination for Only Murders in the Building, with her category set to be awarded September 1 in California.
"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," says Lynch in a statement. "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 theatre 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 is currently led by standby-turned-star Julie Benko as Fanny Brice through September 4. Benko will stay on to handle Thursday performances after Michele takes over September 6.
Funny Girl, which premiered on Broadway in 1964, features a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, and a book by Isobel Lennart, newly adapted by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein for this revival. The original production propelled a young Barbra Streisand to international fame; she would reprise her stage performance in the 1968 film adaptation, winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in the process. The score introduced such standards as "I'm the Greatest Star," "People," "Don't Rain On My Parade," and "The Music That Makes Me Dance."
In addition to Benko and Lynch, Funny Girl stars Ramin Karimloo as Nick Arnstein and Tony nominee Jared Grimes as Eddie Ryan, alongside Peter Francis James as Florenz Ziegfeld, Ephie Aardema as Mrs. Nadler, Debra Cardona as Mrs. Meeker, Toni DiBuono as Mrs. Strakosh, and Martin Moran as Tom Keeney.
The ensemble comprises Amber Ardolino, Daniel Beeman, Kurt Csolak, Leslie Donna Flesner, Afra Hines, Masumi Iwai, Aliah James, Stephen Mark Lukas, John Thomas Manzari, Katie Mitchell, Justin Prescott, Mariah Reives, and Leslie Blake Walker. Rounding out the company are standbys Liz McCartney and Jeremiah James, and swings Colin Bradbury, John Michael Fiumara, Danielle Kelsey, and Alicia Lundgren.
The production is directed by Michael Mayer, who leads a creative team that includes choreography by Ellenore Scott, tap choreography by Ayodele Casel, music supervision and direction by Michael Rafter, scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kevin Adams, sound design by Brian Ronan, and hair design by Campbell Young Associates. Casting is by Jim Carnahan and Jason Thinger.
The production also includes orchestrations by Chris Walker; dance, vocal, and incidental music arrangements by Alan Williams; additional arrangements by Carmel Dean and David Dabbon; music coordination by Seymour Red Press and Kimberlee Wertz; and vocal supervision by Liz Caplan.