Jane Lynch Will Exit Broadway's Funny Girl This Sunday: 'My Heart Is Filled with Gratitude'

·4 min read
Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch is saying an early goodbye to Broadway's Funny Girl.

The five-time Emmy winner, 62, will depart the musical revival on Sunday, Aug. 14 — three weeks earlier than originally announced.

She was supposed to play her last performance on Sept. 4, but has a long-scheduled vacation coming up (between Aug. 15 and Aug. 23) and is planning on attending the Creative Arts Emmys in Los Angeles on Sept. 1 (where she nominated for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series thanks to her work on Hulu's Only Murders in the Building).

Rather than return for one week of performances, producers agreed to adjust Lynch's final performance, they announced in a release on Tuesday.

Lynch plays Mrs. Brice in Funny Girl, the mother of famed comedian Fanny Brice.

In her absence, standby Liz McCartney is scheduled to play the role from Tuesday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Sept. 4. As previously announced, Tovah Feldshuh will then take over the part on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

That's also the date that the show's new Fanny Brice, Lea Michele, will begin in the part. Michele, Lynch's former costar on Glee, will take over for Beanie Feldstein, who originated the role in the Broadway revival — the first since the show first premiered nearly 60 years prior.

"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!" Lynch said in a statement. "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."

Jane Lynch as "Rosie Brice" during the opening night curtain call for the musical "Funny Girl" on Broadway at The August Wilson Theatre
Jane Lynch as "Rosie Brice" during the opening night curtain call for the musical "Funny Girl" on Broadway at The August Wilson Theatre

Bruce Glikas/WireImage

RELATED: Lea Michele Will Join Broadway's Funny Girl as Fanny Brice After Beanie Feldstein's Early Exit

Lynch had reportedly signed a six-month contract to star in Funny Girl, and previously has announced Sept. 25 as her final curtain call in the show.

That date moved up in July, when Michele's casting was confirmed. At the time, Feldstein was supposed to have also been leaving the show on Sept. 25, but moved her exit date up as well.

Feldstien, 29, said that walking away from the show sooner than she anticipated was an "extremely difficult decision."

"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," she wrote on Instagram. "I will never forget this experience and from the bottom of my heart."

"I want to thank every single person who came to the August Wilson for the love and support you have shown me and our amazing cast and crew," Feldstein added. "The people I have had the great joy of bringing Funny Girl to life with every night, both on and off the stage, are all remarkably talented and exceptional humans and I hope you continue to join them on Henry Street after I depart."

Beanie Feldstein Funny Girl
Beanie Feldstein Funny Girl

Matthew Murphy

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Funny Girl comes from director Michael Mayer, the Tony Award winner who led a London revival of the musical in 2015 and whose previous work includes Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Spring Awakening. The production features choreography by Ellenore Scott and tap choreography by Ayodele Casel, plus a revised book from Harvey Fierstein and set design by David Zinn.

The show currently stars Ramin Karimloo, Jared Grimes, Peter Francis James, Ephie Aardema, Debra Cardona, Toni DiBuono, and Martin Moran in principal roes. Its acting company includes Miriam Ali, Amber Ardolino, Daniel Beeman, Colin Bradbury, Kurt Csolak,John Michael Fiumara, Leslie Donna Flesner, Afra Hines, Masumi Iwai, Aliah James, Jeremiah James, Danielle Kelsey,Stephen Mark Lukas, Alicia Lundgren, John Manzari, Liz McCartney, Connor McRory, Katie Mitchell, Justin Prescott,Mariah Reives, Leslie Blake Walker and Julie Benko.

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https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg5ZhX7sEuO/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link — Lea Michele Celebrates Funny Girl Broadway Run as She Recreates Glee Throwback: 'Dream Come True'
https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg5ZhX7sEuO/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link — Lea Michele Celebrates Funny Girl Broadway Run as She Recreates Glee Throwback: 'Dream Come True'

Lea Michele/Instagram

RELATED: Lea Michele Recreates Behind-the-Scenes Glee Photo to Celebrate Funny Girl Broadway Run: 'Dream Come True'

Of course, Michele has long history with Funny Girl. Not only has she been outspoken about her love for Barbra Streisand — who originated the role in 1964 — but her Glee character Rachel Berry played the role of Fanny Brice in a fictional revival of the show, singing many of the musical's iconic shows on the Fox series including "Don't Rain on My Parade," "People," "My Man" and "I'm the Greatest Star."

"A dream come true is an understatement," Michele wrote on Instagram after news of her casting broke. "I'm so incredibly honored to join this amazing cast and production and return to the stage playing Fanny Brice on Broadway."

She later shared a nearly identical throwback photo of herself in the same pose under another Funny Girl marquee on the set of Glee.

Funny Girl is playing at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre.