Glee’s Lea Michele finally makes Funny Girl debut and the verdict is in
Lea Michele has made a triumphant debut as leading lady Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway, receiving several standing ovations.
The former Glee star, who played Rachel Berry, has been the centre of discourse since it was announced she would replace Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein as Fanny.
Michele’s desire to lead Funny Girl has been the stuff of meme fodder ever since her Glee character Rachel was shown to have an obsession with the role.
Michele has also become the centre of a viral spoof conspiracy theory that she can’t read, and has had to respond to allegations of micro-aggressions on the Glee set from former co-stars.
In short, she’s become the internet’s favourite villain – but all that took a backseat as she took centre stage on Broadway and completely blew away the crowd with her stunning vocals.
According to reports from audience members, not only did Michele receive numerous standing ovations, but by the curtain call she was in tears from the overwhelming reaction.
In the audience were her biggest supporters, best friend and former Glee star Jonathan Groff, former boss Ryan Murphy, Drew Barrymore and Zachary Quinto.
Variety reported Groff could be seen “rocking back and forth rhythmically, sobbing at various points, and jumping up to lead each ovation”.
Among the greatest moments from the night was Michele’s rendition of “Don’t Rain On My Parade” which was famously Rachel’s go-to song on Glee.
Lea Michele taking in her seventh standing ovation on her opening night of Funny Girl. Seventh. Venice could never. pic.twitter.com/652WNNgIbw— Jake Viswanath (@jakeviswacare) September 7, 2022
The beginning of this run marks Lea Michele’s return to the Broadway stage after starring in Spring Awakening from 2006 to 2008.
Speaking about the various controversies that have mired her return to the spotlight, she told the New York Times: “I really understand the importance and value now of being a leader.
“It means not only going and doing a good job when the camera’s rolling, but also when it’s not. And that wasn’t always the most important thing for me.”
Michele also hit back at the ‘can’t read conspiracy’ saying: “There’s a rumor online that I can’t read or write? It’s sad. It really is. I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn’t be the case.”
However, the audience may have found humour in the ongoing joke as they reportedly laughed when Fanny delivered the line “I haven’t read so many books”.
Say what you want about Lea Michele. But her dream of playing Fanny on Broadway came true and i think that’s pretty cool.— Michael Chiavone (@michaelchiavone) September 7, 2022
ik everyone’s focused on lea michele rn but I’m stuck on the fact that ryan murphy was in the audience tonight watching the plotline he wrote for rachel berry 8 years ago come true. he’s living in his own episode— Believe :)(: (@kgleeb) September 7, 2022
At intermission for Lea Michele’s first performance in Funny Girl rn pic.twitter.com/ZCNWBvQJkd— ? (@SquishySnapple) September 7, 2022
Michele’s former Glee co-star Jane Lynch, who played Sue, recently left the Funny Girl company but wished Michele luck saying: “I adore her. 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.” (Via EW).
Whether Lea Michele follows in the footsteps of both Rachel Berry and Beanie Feldstein and bows out early remains to be seen, but for now she is taking the stage by storm.
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