Soon-to-be Broadway Funny Girl star Lea Michele recently shared a sneak peek at her performance from the rehearsal room on Instagram. Posted to her stories, the footage has disappeared into the ether, but Today preserved the brief glimpse that can be viewed above. The Glee star is set to become Fanny Brice at the August Wilson Theatre beginning September 6.
Tovah Feldshuh will also join the production as Mrs. Brice that same day. Feldshuh succeeds Jane Lynch, who is set play her final performance September 4.
Michele's performance will be a true full-circle moment. Not only will it be the self-proclaimed "Streisand Worshiper"'s first time back performing on the Main Stem since the original Broadway production of Spring Awakening, she's also made it no small secret that the character is a bucket-list dream role. While starring on six seasons of Glee, Michele, or rather Rachel Berry, sang the musical's "Don't Rain On My Parade," "You Are Woman, I Am Man," "People," "I'm the Greatest Star," and "Who Are You Now," and a season five plot line for the character saw her playing the role on Broadway. The casting also follows reports of earlier attempts to revive Funny Girl on Broadway with Michele that never materialized.
Before Spring Awakening, Michele appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables and the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof, and created the role of The Little Girl in the original Broadway cast of Ragtime. Four-time Tony nominee Feldshuh was last seen on Broadway in Pippin, with previous credits including Irena's Vow, Golda's Balcony, Lend Me a Tenor, and Yentl—the latter of which shares source material with the 1983 Streisand movie musical but is otherwise unrelated.
Funny Girl, which premiered on Broadway in 1964, features a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill and a book by Isobel Lennart, newly adapted by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein for this revival. The original production propelled a young Streisand to international fame; she would reprise her stage performance in the 1968 film adaptation, winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in the process. The biomusical tracks real-life singer and comic Fanny Brice from her humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York, to fame and fortune onstage in the Ziegfeld Follies and as a radio and screen performer.
The production is directed by Michael Mayer with choreography by Ellenore Scott, tap choreography by Ayodele Casel, music supervision and direction by Michael Rafter, scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kevin Adams, sound design by Brian Ronan, and hair design by Campbell Young Associates. Casting is by Jim Carnahan and Jason Thinger. The production also includes orchestrations by Chris Walker; dance, vocal, and incidental music arrangements by Alan Williams; additional arrangements by Carmel Dean and David Dabbon; music coordination by Seymour Red Press and Kimberlee Wertz; and vocal supervision by Liz Caplan.