CT actress debuts in Broadway production of ‘Funny Girl’ as Beanie Feldsteins standby – CT Insider

Posted By on May 4, 2022

From the local theaters of Fairfield County to performing on Broadway, actress Julie Benko is representing Connecticut in the new production of "Funny Girl." Benko, who is Beanie Feldstein's stanby, made her debut on Friday, April 29 and continued starring in the role until Sunday.

"It was completely thrilling, overwhealming and so much fun," said Benko, who was raised in Fairfield since the age of 3.

While Benko has an impressive theater repertoire under her belt, having starred in Broadway productions such as "Fiddler on the Roof," "Les Miserables" and "Spring Awakening," her love for theater began in Connecticut.

"The score is stunning and classic and it's really fun to sing," said Benko. The role of Fanny Brice allowed her to show many different sides of herself, Benko added.

When she was 14, Benko participated in her first theater production, the "Fiddler on the Roof" which was organized by the Jewish Community Center in Bridgeport. When her family took her to audition, both her parents and sister ended up casted for the community production as well. After she played the role of Hodel, Benko got the "theater bug" and continued doing theater while she attended Fairfield Ludlowe High School.

"I was a little nervous but I was more comfortable once I got on stage because that's where I feel at home, so it was very freeing for me to be on stage," said Benko. The actress attended New York University for her undergraduate and master's degrees.

Julie Benko and her family on Bridgeport's Jewish Community Center production of The Fiddle in the Roof. Benko is Beanie Feldstein's stanby on the Broadway production of Funny Girl.

As a stanby, Benko has to be ready to go on stage for every production in case she is needed if Feldstein cannot perform. However, last weekends performance was scheduled since the beginning because Feldstein had personal engagements. Benko is set to perform again Aug. 26-28.Feldstein is known for her roles in "Booksmart" and "Lady Bird," and is the sister of actor Jonah Hill. While performing in "Funny Girl," Feldstein is also filming "Impeachment: American Crime Story" in which she acts as Monica Lewinsky.

Just likethe character ofFanny Brice, Benko has different sides of herself and of her career.

In 2020, Benko directed the short film "The Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy," which focuses on an Hasidic Jewish couple on their wedding night. The film premiered at New York City's New Faces New Voices Summer Festival in July of 2020 and was also shown at the Online New England Film Festival and the Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival in Minnesota.

During the beginning of the pandemic, Benko and her husband Jason Yeager streamed weekly musical performances from their New York apartment called Quarantunes. Later this year, the couple will release a duo album titled "Hand in Hand" produced by Club44 Records.

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CT actress debuts in Broadway production of 'Funny Girl' as Beanie Feldsteins standby - CT Insider

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