See Lea Michele take on her 'role of a lifetime' in first Funny Girl footage

·2 min read

Lea Michele is ready to take on her "role of a lifetime."

On Friday, Broadway's Funny Girl revival unveiled the first footage of the Glee alum preparing for her starring role as Fanny Brice after Beanie Feldstein's shocking exit. (Watch the footage below.) Michele's first performance is set for Sept. 6 at the August Wilson Theatre.

Michele's casting represents a full-circle moment, as she famously sang Funny Girl songs like "Don't Rain on My Parade," "Who Are You Now," "My Man," and "People" during her time on Glee. In the final season, her character Rachel Berry actually landed the starring role of Fanny Brice on Broadway. And off screen, Glee's success led to Michele performing "Don't Rain on My Parade" at the Tony Awards as well as during Glee's live tour and concert film, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.

Despite Michele's dream coming true, the news of her taking over for Feldstein has come with more drama and controversy than a cursed Broadway production. First, the Funny Girl revival opened in April to mixed reviews, with some criticizing Feldstein's performance. Then Feldstein announced in July she was leaving the show. "Playing Fanny Brice on Broadway has been a lifelong dream of mine and doing so for the last few months has been a great joy and true honor," she said in a statement. "Once the production decided to take the show in a different direction, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away sooner than anticipated."

Rumors began swirling immediately that Michele would take over the part due to her history with both the role and the show's director, Michael Mayer, who cast and directed her in her breakout role in Spring Awakening. However, many hoped that Feldstein's understudy, Julie Benko, would land the role. Ultimately it was confirmed that Michele would take over as Fanny Brice, with Benko filling in during the gap between Feldstein's departure and Michele's arrival.

Michele's Glee costar Samantha Ware, who accused Michele two years ago of making her life "a living hell" on set when she, among other things, allegedly threatened to s--- in Ware's wig, spoke out when the news broke of her Funny Girl casting. "Yes, Broadway upholds whiteness. Yes, Hollywood does the same," Ware tweeted. "Yes, silence is complicity. Yes, I'm loud. Yes, I'd do it again."

But wait, there's more! Then Michele's Glee costar Jane Lynch revealed that she would be leaving the Broadway production three weeks earlier than planned, with Tovah Feldshuh taking over in her place.

And that's what you missed on Glee the Funny Girl drama!

Related content: