Entertainment

Lea Michele will replace Beanie Feldstein in 'Funny Girl'

Broadway's next "Funny Girl" will be Lea Michele, who is replacing Beanie Feldstein after the "Booksmart" star announced she'd exit the show earlier than expected.

The production revealed Monday that the "Glee" star would succeed Feldstein, whose run will end July 31, in the leading role of Fanny Brice, the famed comedian and vaudeville performer.

Feldstein announced her departure on Sunday, writing that after the production "decided to take the show in a different direction, [she] made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated." She said playing Fanny had been a "lifelong dream."

She'll end her "Funny Girl" run almost two months earlier than her previously announced date of September 25.

Michele will begin her tenure on September 4. After Feldstein exits, her standby Julie Benko will perform until Michele joins the cast, the production said.

Feldstein's costar Jane Lynch will depart the production in September, "Funny Girl" producers announced, and will be replaced by Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh. Lynch appeared on "Glee" alongside Michele.