In Hollywood, one of the methods that producers use to fill seats is to hire performers who are well known to the audience. The problem is that this method does not always work. Just because an actor is famous does not guarantee that they are right for the role or that fans will respond in a positive manner.
For the last few months, Beanie Feldstein has been headling in the new revival of Funny Girl. Though most of the reviews were not entirely bad, they were not entirely good either. Though I haven’t seen it, close family members have. What they told me echoed what has been written about the production.
Feldstein was supposed the role of Fanny Brice until the end of September. She is now leaving at the end of this month.
To be fair, this is the first revival of the musical since its premiere in 1964. Given that the only person who has played the title role is Barbra Streisand, the expectations perhaps need to be a little more realistic..
Lea Michele of Glee fame will be taking over from Feldstein in the fall. Though it has only been a few days, the rumor mill in regards to Michele’s supposed diva behavior has not stopped churning.
I’m obviously not in showbusiness. But I have been in the working world for nearly two decades. From my perspective, this is a dumpster fire than can only go one of two ways: Michele can prove her critics wrong and the show will last. Or, it will all go down in flames and the reputation of this beloved Broadway musical will have a tarnish on it that will remain on it forever.