The 35-year-old performer will be making her debut in the production on 6 September, according to the official Funny Girl on Broadway Twitter account.
Emmy Award-nominee LEA MICHELE and Tony Award-nominee TOVAH FELDSHUH join #FUNNYGIRL beginning September 6!
Don’t miss Beanie Feldstein until July 31 only, followed by @JujujulieBee through September 4.
See you at the August Wilson, gorgeous!⭐️ pic.twitter.com/bvqArWoMJa
— Funny Girl on Broadway (@FunnyGirlBwy) July 11, 2022
In a post on her own Instagram page shared shortly after the news broke, Michele called her casting “a dream come true.”
“I’m so incredibly honored to join this amazing cast and production and return to the stage playing Fanny Brice on Broadway,” she wrote.
Feldstein’s final performance will be on 31 July, which was anoounced over the weekend via her Instagram. The actress said she’d be departing the show a whole two months earlier than planned because the production decided “to take the show in a different direction.”
Over the years, Broadway fans have discussed how Michele would be a good fit for the role of Fanny Brice, long before the musical had been revived.
She even gave fans plenty of audition material to work with. While starring as the lead role of Rachel Berry in Glee, Michele’s character’s performed Fanny’s iconic song, Don’t Rain on My Parade. In what can now be seen as pure manifestation, Michele’s Berry even had a storyline in season five focused on how she got the role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and her successful nights on Broadway.
Outside of Glee, Michele also notably performed Don’t Rain on My Parade at The 64th annual Tony Awards in 2010.
Michele herself has also previously discussed how she wanted to star in Funny Girl one day. While appearing onWatch What Happens Live in 2017, the actor addressed how Glee creator Ryan Murphy had bought the rights to the show and she was prepared to take on the leading part.
“We were about doing it right after Glee,” she explained. “But I did a lot of the songs from Funny Girl on Glee, so it felt like a little soon. But I feel really ready to do it now.”
However, when it was announced last August that Feldstein would be playing Fanny Brice, fans mocked Michele on social media and joked that she was likely upset about not getting the role, given her longtime love for Funny Girl both on and off screen.
It appears that there wasn’t any bad blood between the actors, as Michele commented on Feldstein’s Instagram post to congratulate her at the time.
“Yes! YOU are the greatest star! This is going to be epic!!!,” the Spring Awakening star wrote.
Notably, the buzz about Michele is in start contrast to the last time she made headlines. Michele faced criticism back in 2020 after she shared a tweet dedicated to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter Movement. In response to the singer’s post, one of her former Glee co-stars, Samantha Ware, called Michele out for making her “first television gig a living h***”. According to the actor, Michele had told everyone she would “s*** in Ware’s wig” if she could, “among other traumatic microaggressions”.
Following that tweet, some of Michele’s other former co-workers chimed in. One claimed that she had previously “threatened to have people fired” and “was terrifying” at the age of 12.
Michele later wrote a statement on Instagram to apologise for her past behaviour, noting how she wanted to “keep working to better [herself] and take responsibility for [her] actions”.