Lea Michele ended her run as the star of Broadway’s Funny Girl on Sunday.
The actress had stepped into the role a year ago, replacing Beanie Feldstein, who had debuted in the title role of Fanny Brice earlier that year.
The revival had launched in April 2022 to mixed reviews, with many arguing that Feldstein failed to fill the big shoes left by Barbra Streisand, who originated the role on Broadway in 1964, earning a Tony nom, and subsequently won an Oscar for her performance in the 1968 film adaptation. Feldstein announced her departure in July 2022. Meanwhile, Tovah Feldshuh took over Jane Lynch’s role as Fanny’s mom.
With Michele on board, producers reportedly were able to recoup capitalization costs, according to The New York Times, with the show boasting almost 600 performances at the August Wilson Theatre in New York.
At Sunday’s show, Michele received seven standing ovations. She also treated the audience to a bonus song, “My Man,” which Streisand sang in the film adaptation of the musical. Incidentally, Michele also performed the song in her TV series Glee, which ran from 2009-15 on Fox.
“That was my dream come true,” Michele told the crowd after her final performance, as quoted by the Times. “I was truly given the greatest gift that surpassed this dream and that was the unconditional true love and support from this cast, who has worked so, so, so hard. I was embraced with open arms the minute I came in.”
She also posted a lengthy statement on Instagram about what she called “the role of a lifetime.”
Along with a photo of her onstage, she captioned the post “Thank you for all the love and support. This was truly the most extraordinary year and chapter of my life. I cannot wait for what’s next.”
As for what is next, Michele has said that she already has her next show lined up, hinting that it’s something audiences will be familiar with but is “very different musically,” she told Variety earlier this year.
Meanwhile, a Funny Girl tour, starring Katerina McCrimmon, kicks off Saturday in Providence, R.I.
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