Funny How It Ain’t So Funny

I like Beanie Feldstein.  I really do.  In Hello, Dolly!, she was fantastic.  But a funny foil is a far cry from fronting a fractured fable like Funny Girl.  Before rehearsals even began, it was a foregone conclusion that the first Broadway revival of the show indelibly linked with Barbra Streisand was doomed – and scheduling opening night on Babs’ 80th birthday seemed almost cruel.  Reportedly, Feldstein pulls off the novelty numbers.  But most critics feel the vocal demands of the score are beyond her.  Blaming Beanie (who, by the by, identifies as queer) seems wrong.  Obviously she’s been let down by the producers.  Surely someone heard her sing “People” before hiring her.  Now what?  The big guessing game on the Rialto is who will replace Beanie…should the show last long enough for a replacement.  Idina Menzel was in the mix before Beanie was announced; Lea Michele before that; and Lauren Ambrose even earlier.  I wouldn’t want any of them cast in a role that requires powerhouse vocals plus a unique and quirky personality.  Frankly, none of them could convince me that they’re the greatest star.

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