Lea Michele Opens In 'Funny Girl' To Standing Ovations And Raves From Fans

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A Broadway prima was reborn this week arsenic Lea Michele made her hotly anticipated instrumentality to the New York signifier successful “Funny Girl.”

The “Glee” histrion and singer’s debut performance arsenic Fanny Brice earned her astatine slightest 4 lasting ovations Tuesday, though accounts of the nonstop tally vary. The star-studded assemblage ― which reportedly included Drew Barrymore, Jonathan Groff, Zachary Quinto and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul ― fêted her and co-star Tovah Feldshuh erstwhile again astatine curtain call, with some women graciously accepting bouquets of achromatic roses.

A four-time Tony Award nominee, Feldshuh besides joined the accumulation Tuesday arsenic Mrs. Brice, Fanny’s mother.

“Funny Girl” marks Michele’s archetypal clip arsenic a subordinate of a Broadway institution since leaving “Spring Awakening” successful 2008. Neither she nor Feldshuh volition beryllium formally reviewed by critics until aboriginal this month.

Still, the response from a fistful of journalists who were in attendance astatine the August Wilson Theatre Tuesday was nothing short of rapturous.

Lea Michele made her long-awaited instrumentality    to Broadway this week arsenic  Fanny Brice successful  "Funny Girl."
Lea Michele made her long-awaited instrumentality to Broadway this week arsenic Fanny Brice successful "Funny Girl."

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

“It’s chaotic to say, particularly due to the fact that the conception is that Michele’s casting arsenic Fanny is truthful obvious, but arsenic bully arsenic 1 assumes she would be, she is someway adjacent better,” the Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon wrote.

The New York Post’s Johnny Oleksinski was possibly adjacent much exuberant successful his praise, noting: “She’s revved up and performs similar she’s been belting ‘Don’t Rain connected My Parade’ successful the ablution each time for 10 years. Hell, she astir apt has!”

Michele, left, and Tovah Feldshuh instrumentality     their archetypal  curtain call.
Michele, left, and Tovah Feldshuh instrumentality their archetypal curtain call.

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

As galore fans tin attest, Tuesday’s show was precise overmuch a full-circle infinitesimal for Michele, who had long cited Fanny Brice arsenic a imagination role. As Rachel Berry connected “Glee,” she sang galore songs from the musical, including “Don’t Rain connected My Parade” and “People,” implicit the people of the series’ six-season run. The quality adjacent starred successful a fictional Broadway revival of “Funny Girl.”

No uncertainty producers are counting connected Michele’s beingness to respire caller beingness into the amusement arsenic a whole. She’s replacing Beanie Feldstein, who originated the relation of Fanny Brice successful the existent production. The “Booksmart” actor’s show was widely panned by critics, and she exited the philharmonic earlier than planned successful July amid reports of backstage tensions and declining summons sales.

"Funny Girl" marks Michele's archetypal  clip  connected  Broadway since leaving "Spring Awakening" successful  2008.
"Funny Girl" marks Michele's archetypal clip connected Broadway since leaving "Spring Awakening" successful 2008.

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

Still, Michele’s casting besides has much than its stock of detractors.

The histrion was astatine the halfway of a media firestorm 2 years agone erstwhile respective of her “Glee” co-stars came guardant with accusations of on-set bullying and prima donna behavior. The astir damning claims came from Samantha Marie Ware, a Black histrion who said Michele made her clip connected the amusement a “living hell” owed to “traumatic microaggressions.”

Michele publicly apologized for her alleged behavior. In a New York Times profile published past week, she said the backlash had spurred an “intense clip of reflection” that had improved her nonrecreational morale for the better.

“I truly recognize the value and worth present of being a leader,” she said. “It means not lone going and doing a bully occupation erstwhile the camera’s rolling, but besides erstwhile it’s not. And that wasn’t ever the astir important happening for me.”

See photos from Lea Michele’s opening nighttime successful “Funny Girl” below.

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

Jared Grimes, Ramin Karimloo, Lea Michele, Tovah Feldshuh.

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

Ramin Karimloo, left, and Lea Michele.

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images

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