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Jane Lynch moves up ‘Funny Girl’ exit by 3 weeks: ‘My heart is filled with gratitude’

The actor is leaving the Broadway production before former “Glee” co-star Lea Michele steps into the leading role as Fanny Brice.
/ Source: TODAY

Jane Lynch’s last “Funny Girl” show will be sooner than expected.

On Tuesday, the actor, 62, revealed that she will be exiting the Broadway show on Aug. 14, three weeks earlier than theatergoers had anticipated. 

"Funny Girl" Curtain Call
Jane Lynch as Mrs. Rose Brice during the first preview curtain call for the revival of "Funny Girl" on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre on March 26, 2022. Bruce Glikas / WireImage

“With my long-planned vacation on the books and then the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony in LA on Thursday, September 1, I will take my final curtain call on August 14,” Lynch said in a statement obtained by TODAY.She continued, “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 — who portrays Mrs. Rose Brice, the protagonist's mother in the musical — ended her announcement with a shoutout to her former “Glee” co-star Lea Michele, who will replace Feldstein in the leading role as Fanny Brice.

“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,” she concluded. 

Benko has been starring in the Broadway show as the lead following Feldstein’s early exit from “Funny Girl” last month. 

The show first revealed Lynch's and Feldstein’s departures back in June.

Feldstein, 29, also moved up the date of her last show. She had originally planned to leave Sept. 25, but she exited on July 31. 

She made her debut on April 24 and was expected to stay with the production through 2022. 

"Funny Girl" Broadway Opening Night
Jared Grimes, Ramin Karimloo, Beanie Feldstein, Jane Lynch and the cast of "Funny Girl" during the opening night curtain call on April 24.Bruce Glikas / Bruce Glikas/WireImage

After rumors swirled that Feldstein would leave the production, Emmy nominee and Broadway star Michele’s name trended on Twitter and fans speculated she would be cast.  

In July, Feldstein posted on social media ahead of her final performance.

“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. “Once the production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated.”

Her post did not include more details about the behind-the-scenes production changes.

A day after Feldstein shared her update, “Funny Girl” producers announced that Michele would inherit Feldstein’s role

On “Glee,” Michele, 35, sang multiple songs from “Funny Girl” and gave an unforgettable performance of one of Fanny Brice’s standout solos, “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” The actor previously said she felt “ready” to be Fanny during a 2017 appearance on “Watch What Happens Live.” 

Lynch spoke to Deadline last month and said she was “glad” that Michele was chosen to play an iconic role.

“I adore her,” she told the publication. “She’s just going to take this show and make it her own. I’m so glad she’s getting the opportunity in real life to do the show and not just on ‘Glee.’”

She also explained the reason their performance dates won’t overlap.

“You know, it was just a really strong idea to have Feldshuh and Lea premiere together," Lynch said, referring to Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh, who will officially take over her role. "That’s the only reason (we won’t appear together)."

Standby Liz McCartney will play Mrs. Rose Brice Aug. 16 through Sept. 4, and then Feldshuh will take over on Sept. 6.