Now, this is definitely not something to laugh about lightly. Lea Michele recently landed her dream lead role in Funny Girl, the Broadway show. Yet, she has unfortunately tested positive for Coronavirus after just a few shows. Ultimately, she has to wait it out until she can step back on stage. Here's what we know.
Lea Michele dominated Fox's Glee for six seasons, and it was clear she was a woman full of talent. She sang her heart out episode after episode, with every genre to ever imagine. It was no secret Michele was not far off her starring character, Rachel Berry. Behind-the-scenes snippets showed that during Michele's audition for Berry, producers had no idea whether she was acting or not after missing a beat to the song she had desired to wow them with. That being said, the "self-driven" teenager was perfect for the role. There was clear validation in her love for Barbra Streisand and Broadway. In season 5, Berry received a standing ovation at Sectionals after performing 'Don't Rain On My Parade,' sung initially by Streisand in the 1968 film, Funny Girl. Little did she know, her dream would become a reality. On September 6th, 2022, Michele debuted her role on Broadway as Fanny Brice.
Talk about breaking a leg… or catching a virus. After a short week of performances, Michele is now stepping off the stage for a ten-day quarantine after catching the dreaded Coronavirus. After a destructive two-year pandemic, we would think this nonsense would be over. Typically, just as Michele fulfills her life-long dream, it is paused. She wrote via Instagram, "Unfortunately, I have officially tested positive for COVID. In following production protocols, I cannot return to the theater for 10 days." She proceeded, "Thankfully staying home today and catching this early protected so many members of our company from being exposed. Funny Girl has been and still is tackling a tremendous wave of COVID with close to a dozen company members currently out." Still, the show must go on. Michele is grateful for her gifted understudy, Julie Benko, who take over performances at New York's August Wilson Theatre until Michele has recovered. Michele showed her support, writing, "Julie is going to crush it today as Fanny – as are all of our amazing understudies who have stepped up so incredibly this week while we battle a very intense Covid outbreak in our theater."
While Michele is absolutely "devastated," protocol is protocol. While it is understandable to be Michele's worst nightmare, she will return to her role as Fanny in no time. Until then, audiences will have the pleasure of seeing three types of Fanny Bryce, from Beanie Feldstein - who exited her role in July - to Lea and now Julie. That's showbiz.