Lea Michele has returned to her Broadway roots! The actress made her debut as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Tuesday night. As happy as she was to be there, fans were just as delighted to have her starring in the role, showing their love and excitement with six standing ovations throughout her performance – one of them right when she walked on stage! Here's what you missed.
The Glee star had the entire audience at the August Wilson Theatre at the edge of their seats. Among those attending was Michele's former Spring Awakening cast member Jonathan Groff, her Glee boss Ryan Murphy, Drew Barrymore, and Harvey Fierstein, who updated the music for this latest rendition. Many fans and lovers of the theater were also in attendance, who were ecstatic to see Michele debut in one of Barbra Streisand's most iconic roles. Barbra starred in the musical's original production and then in the 1968 movie based on the musical. She won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for the role. Funnily enough, Michele's character in Glee, Rachel Berry, was absolutely obsessed with Fanny and sang some of the musical's most famous songs on the show. It has come full circle that Michele now stars in the role that her character was so obsessed with!
It helps that she is no stranger to the stage. Michele's career began on Broadway when she starred as Young Cosette in Les Misérables at only eight years old. She went on to perform in the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof and originated the role of The Little Girl in the original cast of Ragtime. She also originated the role of Wendla Bergmann in the rock musical Spring Awakening. It is safe to say that after a 13-year hiatus, she was welcomed back with open arms! Michele took to the 'gram after her first performance to thank everyone for their support and acknowledge what an honor it was for her.
Alongside Michele, her co-star Tovah Feldshuh also made her debut the same night, starring as Fanny's mother, Mrs. Brice. During the curtain call, their fellow cast members gave Michele and Feldshuh flower bouquets, commemorating their first show. Then, the two embraced on stage, and when Feldshuh tried to encourage Michele to take one last bow, Michele grabbed her hand and bowed together to a roaring audience. Make your way to Broadway to see what will most certainly be an iconic show!