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“The role of a lifetime. Lea Michele joins the cast of FUNNY GIRL as Fanny Brice beginning September 6. See you at the August Wilson!” the production shared on its official Twitter account with a short teaser video to get fans excited for Michele’s big debut.
The brief, black-and-white clip shows the Glee alum running through rehearsals with the cast as she sings part of “I’m the Greatest Star” as Fanny Brice. Michele replaces Beanie Feldstein, who announced via Instagram last month that her final date would be July 31, despite producers having previously stated that she would remain with the show until late September.
“Who is the pip with pizzazz?/ Who is all ginger and jazz?/ Who is as glamorous as?/ Who’s an American beauty rose/ With an American beauty nose/ And 10 American beauty toes?/ Hey Mr. Ziegfeld, here I am,” Michele belts out over escalating flourishes on the piano.
Since her pending takeover of the role was announced, the actress has been hard at work in rehearsals, sharing behind-the-scenes looks at her preparations, whether nailing tap choreography or performing Act 1 closer — and famous Rachel Berry Sectionals number — “Don’t Rain on My Parade” for the first time on a Broadway stage.
While Michele’s co-star Jane Lynch exited her own role as Mrs. Brice two weeks before the former was set to take the stage, The Weakest Link host insisted there’s nothing but good vibes between the two. “It has nothing to do with not wanting to see Lea,” Lynch told Playbill. “I text with Lea. She and I are fine. I’m thrilled for her.”
In the wake of original star Feldstein’s early exit for the show, standby Julie Benko is currently filling Fanny Brice’s shoes until Lea steps into the role on Sept. 6.
Feldstein wrote in her July 10 post that her decision to exit that month came after producers “decided to take the show in a different direction,” although she did not elaborate further. In response to online speculation, the show’s producers issued a statement days later to clarify that they “were not blindsided by Beanie’s social post.”
Watch Michele in the Funny Girl promo below.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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