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Will Lea Michele be able to save Funny Girl after Beanie Feldstein leaves? : NPR

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Beanie Feldstein was originally cast as Fanny Brice in the Broadway production. funny girl revival. Now her place is taken by Lea Michele. But none of them are Barbra Streisand, who played Bryce in the original production.

Evan Agostini, Greg Allen/Invision


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Evan Agostini, Greg Allen/Invision


Beanie Feldstein was originally cast as Fanny Brice in the Broadway production. funny girl revival. Now her place is taken by Lea Michele. But none of them are Barbra Streisand, who played Bryce in the original production.

Evan Agostini, Greg Allen/Invision

Not everyone follows Broadway gossip. But for the people who do, unraveling the current musical renaissance funny girl it was a big deal.

Short version: Beanie Feldstein was cast as Fanny Brice and the show opened at the end of April. The reviews were bad. Meanwhile, Lea Michele, as during her stay on jubilation and on other occasions she made it clear that she wanted to play Fanny. After it was announced that Feldstein would be leaving the show in September, but before any official public announcement of a successor, Gawker On June 30, she published an article in which she announced that Lea Michele would finally get the role she had been striving for for so long, replacing Feldstein. The producers later confirmed this.

Any attempt to present this as an uplifting story about a dream come true for Michelle, however, is complicated (to put it mildly) by the fact that some of the people she worked with on set accused her of acting horribly on set. jubilationincluding Samantha Ware, who said that Michelle’s “traumatic microaggressions” cast doubt on her entire career, and who said, apparently in response to Michelle’s casting in funny girl: “Yes, Broadway supports whiteness. Yes, Hollywood does the same.”

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This week, daily beast posted what is basically a single anonymous “senior show source” account of what happened, part story and part commentary. It’s all very soapy and scandalous, all about hurt feelings and terrible communication. (He also slips very quickly on charges against Michele.) There are other gossips: that Feldstein and Michele have the same theatrical agent (!), that everyone is very concerned about Feldstein’s feelings, that everyone around her tiptoes to their (and her) damage. But the topic that rings out loud and clear is the debate around whose fault it is that they didn’t replace Feldstein sooner. It’s truly amazing how successful efforts across the board have been to put all the blame for the failure of the scanned performance on one performer, in order to better entice audiences to come back to replace her.

Few people remember this anymore, and it doesn’t make it into many current stories about the situation, but reviews of this revival, while they were definitely critical of her performance, didn’t say that Feldstein was terrible and everything else was terrible. stunning. This is what SS Source would like you to believe – they just needed to change the leading lady immediately and everything would be fine.

Consider actual feedback on the issue: Jesse Green at New York Times said that Feldstein, while not “terrific” as the role demands, was “good”. Weak praise, sure, but if you doubt what he meant by that it wasn’t fair to blame her for the show’s problems, consider what he said: “You can’t blame Feldstein for the show’s problems; elephant clown. (SS Source blames her, or at least the failure to fire her immediately, for the show’s problems.) Green criticized the book, he criticized the production in general and the sets in particular. Adam Feldman said at Time Out New York that Feldstein was not right for the part, but he also said that the other performances were poor, the direction was shaky, and the book didn’t work. Frank Rizzo Diversity said some of Feldstein’s numbers worked out well and some didn’t, but – here’s the problem again – he said the book of the show just didn’t work, and he also didn’t like the sets or the costumes.

These reviews didn’t tell me that they just need to dump Beanie Feldstein very quickly and keep going. They also didn’t assume that the show didn’t fail. They suggested to me that all participants should stop these efforts, give them a decent conclusion and acknowledge that not everything works out and that everyone who is not reborn, funny girl for decades (due in part to the lack of an affordable replacement for Barbara Streisand) has probably been right.

But – and here, I must admit, my cynicism creeps in – no one wants to do this! It’s much better for the producers and the show’s financial future if it narrows down to one actor, so if you replace her, especially with the big, big amount of fanfare and attention you get when you do a recast. all about the problematic quest to win over a woman who is no longer warm and friendly enough – it seems like a complete solution. “Oh, thank God,” everyone makes us think, “they fixed what was wrong with funny girl revival. I have to buy a ticket!” It’s so easy to get an unfinished narrative when it comes to drama between women, it’s almost… well, funny.

Did they fix anything the critics were complaining about? I really do not know. Like most people who follow all this, I haven’t seen the show, but I know I’ve read it, and I’m exactly the kind of person they would like to convince to come on the show after the change. But why should I? As for Feldstein, everyone agreed that for this you need to be Barbra Streisand, and she is not Barbra Streisand. But that doesn’t mean that Lea Michele is Barbra Streisand. Even if Michele has the singing voice that Feldstein lacks and the ability to perform funny girl songs in concert, it is quite possible that she would lack the comedy and flirtatious charm that some critics noted in Feldstein. did is, which is also necessary for the role.

Production is complex. I was recently reminded that Ethan Hawke made his Broadway debut in a 1992 production. Gull it also starred Laura Linney among others and was panned. Things happen; talented people fail. Circumstances failed you, choices you didn’t make failed you, choices you did make you let down, dreams don’t materialize. This is alchemy, the creation of things, and that is what makes it special, terrible, frightening and delightful. Much of the drama of Broadway, theater, and creative people in general is not about who is to blame. It’s a respect for the nasty, mysterious, sometimes unpredictable ways things work or don’t work. Anyway, one of the things the SS source in daily beast Part of that is that it will be important for the show to be “revisited”. Here it will be interesting.

This piece first appeared on NPR. pop culture happy hour Newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss the next one, and get weekly recommendations on what makes us happy.

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#Lea #Michele #save #Funny #Girl #Beanie #Feldstein #leaves #NPR

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