(Michael Gioia’s article appeared in People; 3/18/2022; via Pam Green; Photo CREDIT: MATTHEW MURPHY.)
Beanie Feldstein will star as Fanny Brice in the first Broadway revival of Funny Girl since it debuted in 1964
Beanie Feldstein is almost ready for her return to Broadway!
The actress, 28, will star as comedian Fanny Brice — the role made famous by theater and film legend Barbra Streisand — when Funny Girl is revived on Broadway for the first time since it debuted nearly 60 years ago in 1964.
In an exclusive first look at rehearsals shared with PEOPLE, Feldstein and costars Jane Lynch (Mrs. Rosie Brice), Ramin Karimloo (Nick Arnstein) and Jared Grimes (Eddie Ryan) prepare for the production’s Broadway bow later this month at the August Wilson Theatre.
“Funny Girl is so magical. It’s the story of a comedian falling in love and finding herself,” says Feldstein in rehearsal.
Though Feldstein may be best known for her work in TV and film — earning a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in 2019’s Booksmart and recently starring as Monica Lewinsky in American Crime Story — the actress says she feels at home on the stage.
“This is a character and this is a score and a story that I’ve loved as literally as long as I can remember,” she says. “Like every normal 3-year-old, I asked my mom if my birthday party could be Funny Girl-themed. It’s my first dream.”
Funny Girl, which will begin preview performances March 26 ahead of an official April 24 opening, does not only hold a special place in Feldstein’s heart. Reviving the musical is also a dream come true for Glee star Lynch, who will play Fanny’s mother.
“I have a really profound, emotional connection to this show. In fact, if you go back into my history, it started with Funny Girl,” she explains in rehearsal. “Anytime I did well in my career, my mother would leave me a message on my machine: ‘Who taught her everything she knows?’ Which was just a wonderful thing… I get to sing that song on the Broadway stage in the first revival in 60 years, which is crazy!”
The musical, which features the Jule Styne and Bob Merrill classics “People,” “I’m the Greatest Star” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” promises huge tap numbers by Ayodele Casel and choreography by Ellenore Scott, a revised script by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein and over 150 costumes designed by Tony-winning designer Susan Hilferty.