Funny Girl producers weren't 'blindsided' by Beanie Feldstein's exit

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The producers of Funny Girl have insisted they weren't "blindsided" by Beanie Feldstein's early exit from the stage musical.

The Booksmart actress made her debut as Fanny Brice in the Broadway production in April and was originally expected to remain in the role until the end of the year, but that was then changed to September.

However, in a message posted on Instagram on Sunday night, Beanie revealed that she would be leaving the show on 31 July as the production is moving in a "different direction".

In response to rumours that the staff were "shocked" by the star's decision, a representative maintained that was not the case in a statement shared on Wednesday.

"The producers of Funny Girl were not blindsided by Beanie's social post," representatives for Beanie and the show told The Hollywood Reporter in a joint statement. "The producers decided to take the show in a different direction and end Beanie's contract on September 25th, six months earlier than anticipated.

“A month after that decision, Beanie decided it was best for her to leave on July 31st. The producers were aware of and in support of her decision. The producers and Beanie worked on this together professionally, respectfully and graciously.”

Beanie will bow out on 31 July, with Julie Benko standing in as the lead character until Lea Michele takes over on 6 September.

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