Tonsillitis is the latest cloud to rain on Beanie Feldstein’s ‘Funny Girl’ parade

A woman wearing a red and gold dress on a stage
Beanie Feldstein has canceled upcoming “Funny Girl” performances after coming down with tonsillitis.
(Greg Allen / Invision / Associated Press)

Beanie Feldstein will miss out on more opportunities to hit the stage as Fanny Brice during her already limited “Funny Girl” run.

On Friday, the “Booksmart” star revealed on Instagram that she will have to step away from the titular role for the weekend as she deals with a bout of tonsillitis.

“I just got back from the ears, nose and throat doctor, who told me that I have tonsillitis, which is extremely contagious, and she cannot allow me to go back on the stage through the weekend until I have enough antibiotics in my system to not be contagious anymore,” Feldstein said. “The last thing I would want on this Earth would to get the people that I love sick and I’m just not allowed to go on stage through the weekend.”


A representative for the production told The Times that standby Julie Benko will star in the weekend shows. Benko previously filled in when Feldstein contracted COVID-19 in June.

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The actor’s diagnosis came just days after news broke Monday that “Glee” star Lea Michele will step in as Brice after Feldstein departs the production at the August Wilson Theatre on July 31, nearly two months before her initial exit date of Sept. 25.

Michele will make her debut on Sept. 6. In the meantime, Benko will play the title role from Aug. 2 to Sept. 4 as well as on Thursdays beginning Sept. 8.

A day before Michele’s official announcement as the next “Funny Girl,” Feldstein explained her departure in an Instagram post.

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

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The producers and a representative for Feldstein told People on Wednesday that the actor’s exit was a mutual decision. The producers said they were “aware of and in support of” Feldstein’s decision, quashing rumors about a contentious exit.


Feldstein has had quite an interesting “Funny Girl” journey, with twists and turns, but she insisted Friday on Instagram that “you gotta laugh at a certain point.”

“When it rains, it pours on your old pal Bean,” she concluded.

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