Theatre

Lea Michele finally wins role in Broadway’s Funny Girl and the jokes write themselves

Maggie Baska July 11, 2022
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Lea Michele looks over her shoulder as she poses for a photograph

Lea Michele at the 2017 American Music Awards. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Lea Michele will be replacing Beanie Feldstein on Broadway’s Funny Girl, and the internet is breaking out all the jokes. 

The show’s producers announced Monday (11 July) that the former Glee star would take over Feldstein’s role Fanny Brice beginning on 6 September. She will be joined by four-time Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh, who’ll replace Jane Lynch in the role of Brice’s mother. 

Feldstein announced on Instagram that she would be leaving the Broadway musical on 31 July and said the decision came after producers “decided to take the show in a different direction”

Michele’s casting is perhaps a sign that manifestation is real as she has long been outspoken about her love for Barbra Streisand, who originated the role in 1964. Her Glee character Rachel Berry was equally obsessed as she played Fanny Brice in a fictional revival of the show and sang many of the musical’s iconic songs on the Fox series. 

Needless to say, people flocked to social media to share their absolutely fire jokes about Lea Michele’s casting. 

In 2017, Lea Michele said she “really hoped” to be part of Funny Girl at some point in the future during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen

“We were thinking of doing it right after Glee, but I did a lot of the songs from Funny Girl on Glee so it felt like a little soon,” Michele said. “But I feel really ready to do it now so maybe we could do it soon.”

However, she reportedly turned down the role when Glee creator Ryan Murphy was going to be involved. A source told People she shot down the role “mainly because she thought what was done on Glee was everything she could have brought to the role”. 

Lea Michele wrote on Instagram that to call the Broadway casting a “dream come true is an understatement”

“I’m so incredibly honored to join this amazing cast and production and return to the stage playing Fanny Brice on Broadway,” Michele said. “See you September 6th.”

Michele faced backlash in 2020 after a Glee co-star Samantha Ware accused her of making her time on the show a “living hell” . Ware alleged that Michele “told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s**t in my wig’” amongst “other traumatic microaggressions”. 

Michelle later issued a statement saying she didn’t remember “ever making this specific statement” and that she “never judged others by their background” or colour of their skin. 

She apologised and said that she “clearly acted in ways which hurt other people”. Lea Michele blamed her behaviour on her “privileged position” and “immaturity” at the time.

 

More: Glee, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele

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