Back in 2009, at the beginning of the ‘Glee’ era, Lea Michele mentioned her dream musical role in an interview with The Washington Post. The actress, who started her career on Broadway, revealed:
“I want to be in ‘Funny Girl.’ And I want Ryan Murphy to direct it … I would do it in a basement in Brooklyn if somebody would let me do it! It’s the best role ever — any Jewish girl would want to play Fanny Brice!”
Michele sang some of the songs from the musical during her run in ‘Glee’ and even performed ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ at the Tonys in 2010.
So, when the possibility of her taking on the role originally played by Barbra Streisand arose again after Ryan Murphy got the play’s stage rights in 2015, the director told Entertainment Weekly:
“We had talked about it for sure. But then I feel like we [do] so many of those songs and so many of those scenes [on Glee] that in a weird way, I feel like we did it in some way.”
Still, the ‘Glee’ actress got the part years later in 2022 when a new version returned to Broadway. The show opened with Beanie Feldstein as Brice, but Michele took over after her departure from the production a few months later.
The new Broadway cast of ‘Funny Girl’ released a recording of the musical’s songs with the actress in the following months. Now, the play is coming to a close with Lea Michele on September 3, 2023.