Lea Michele isn’t raining on Beanie Feldstein’s parade.
Feldstein, whose performances in “Lady Bird” and “Booksmart” have won her acclaim in Hollywood, is set to star in Broadway’s first-ever revival of “Funny Girl” as Fanny Brice, the real-life “Ziegfeld Follies” showgirl and comedian. Barbra Streisand scored a Tony nomination when she originally played the role in 1964, and she went on to win an Oscar for her performance in the movie adaptation four years later.
In an Instagram post announcing her casting, Feldstein recalled attending her third birthday party dressed as Fanny, adding, “Sometimes dreams actually come true.”
In the comments section, Michele wrote, “Yes! YOU are the greatest star! This is going to be epic!!”
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A post shared by Beanie Feldstein (@beaniefeldstein)
Michele performed several songs from “Funny Girl” ― including “Don’t Rain On My Parade” ― over the course of her six-season run on “Glee.” Her character, Rachel Berry, idolized Streisand and played Fanny Brice on Broadway during the series’ fifth season.
“Lea Michele” began trending on Twitter after Feldstein’s casting was announced, with Broadway fans speculating about how the actor would react to the news.
“It is endlessly funny to me that Lea Michele is trending solely because gay twitter knows this news sent her into a blind rage,” one person wrote.
Added another: “She’s somewhere SCREAMING at her agent.”
In the 58 years since “Funny Girl” debuted on Broadway, the leading role has proven challenging to cast, partly because Streisand’s performance remains firmly etched in popular culture.
A Broadway production starring “Six Feet Under” actor Lauren Ambrose was announced in 2011, but producers eventually backed out.
And once Michele rose to fame on “Glee,” she was repeatedly name-checked in reports of a different production, which was to have been staged by Ryan Murphy.
“We were thinking of doing it right after ‘Glee,’ but I did a lot of the songs from ‘Funny Girl’ on ‘Glee,’ so it felt like a little soon,” Michele said during an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live” in 2017. “But I feel really ready to do it now, so maybe we could do it soon.”
Ultimately, Murphy’s “Funny Girl” revival never materialized.
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