June 9th, 2010
04:48 PM ET

Lea Michele may be the next 'Funny Girl'

"Glee’s" Rachel Berry might finally land her dream role – or at least the actress who plays her might.

Lea Michele is among the actresses being considered for the role of showgirl/comedienne Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of "Funny Girl," the 1964 musical that made a then-21-year-old Barbra Streisand a star.

Michele, 23, seems a natural for the part – she’s already a Broadway vet, having headlined the hit "Spring Awakening," and has performed the "Funny Girl" showstopper “Don’t Rain on My Parade” on "Glee."

"Funny Girl’s" producer, Bob Boyett, hopes to have the show up and running by late 2011, and says that both unknown and well-known actresses, including Michele, are being considered for the lead.

“I think Lea is wonderful, she’s great, and she would certainly be on anybody’s list,” he told the New York Times, adding, “She’s also got a pretty good gig going now.”

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Filed under: Celebrities • Glee • television

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. NC2010

    Why mess with perfection?

    November 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tina

    Oh wow...I thought I'd heard it all. She is an ok singer/actress, but nothing special. It's her extreme self-confidence that is leading people to believe her performances. And for that, I admire her.

    August 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tera

    I think casting Lea Michele in Funny Girl would be just way too predictable... in a very off-putting way. Off-putting because she obviously believes that she IS the next Barbra Streisand – and I have to say that her choice to sing 'Don't Rain on my Parade' at the Tony's was self-indulgent and very 'look-at-me-aren't-I-amazing?' Lea Michele, I believe, is too obvious of a choice. I'm sure there are oodles of more talented and more deserving actresses around that they could cast as Fanny Brice.

    July 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alby

    Hello Gorgeous!

    June 13, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. katie

    no !no!no!no!no!no!no! She is not right for the part. She sings very well but is not a belter with a huge voice ... Fanny Brice needs that. Give it to a unknown.. Give a new comer a chance to shine!

    June 10, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Alan

    Actually, Fanny Brice is Fanny Brice.

    June 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rose

    I love this young lady! I think she would do well in the role of Fanny Brice. Annoying??? It's the character that she plays on Glee that might be considered annoying. I wouldn't know if she is annoying in her day to day life and I don't think most of us would....we aren't in her circle of friends. As for her playing Elphaba, I thought that would be a good role for her about the second time I heard her sing and then when Idina Menzel was on the show the first time, I was sure of it!! They really do look like they could be related.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • shayem

      I disagree I have seen funny girl and no one can replace barbra striesand I would not waste my money on the revival, striesand is fanny brice period.

      June 10, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Andrew

    A little known actress named Pat Ast was a classmate of Barbra Streisand at Erasmus HS in Brooklyn and got first place over Streisand in a SINGING contest. The Point(s): 1) I'm sure Lea can give Streisand a run for her money in Funny Girl, and 2) there's always room for fresh talent.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. Janie

    People – why are you saying 're-release the old Funny Girl' (which is a movie)? THIS IS FOR A BROADWAY SHOW!! And, Lea Michele would be phenomenal in it. There is nothing like live music and it would be terrific for everyone to be able to see it!!

    June 10, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    Lea, is an amazing singer and actress. I've got to say she gives well over 100% in every song she's ever done, and her resemblance to Idena Manzell is uncanny.

    If she ever did a musical like Chess, I know she'd do more than deliver for the audiences. She's so passionate when she sings, it's amazing.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. Robert

    "Funny Girl" is about an awkward girl who couldn't stop being funny even in the face of adversity. Someone who laughed when she wanted to cry and someone who constantly made jokes to hide her own sadness and insecurities. The actress needs to sing, but above all, she has to be naturally funny. I love Lea Michelle, but Glee and Spring Awakening are not "Funny Girl". She sang "Don't Rain on My Parade" very well, but I didn't believe it. ...and she isn't funny! She is greatly talented, slightly annoying , but not funny.

    June 10, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      You might not believe it, but ultimately the producers will decide, and if they decide on Lea we should let the critics and audiences decide! :-) Personally I think she would be able to do an extraordinary job, but only time will tell if she gets the chance to prove it!

      June 10, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Greg

    For those of us who appreciate Barbara for the star that she was, is, and always will be, BUT did not grow up in the era of Barbara on Broadway in Funny Girl (I was born in 1974), having Lea Michelle do a Broadway revival sound amazing to me!

    June 10, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. Michele

    The perfect actress for the perfect role! Awesome!

    June 10, 2010 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mattski

    I don't know. The role was not as good as the actress who played it. Babs made the role not just with her voice, but with her quirky wit and her acting ability. She also looked the part perfectly. I hope Lea can pull it off.

    June 10, 2010 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    What is it about musical plays that makes people think it should only be performed once and never again. You don't get that with comedies or dramas that don't contain music. Can you imagine if, say, Hamlet only played once way back when Shakespeare wrote it and then never again because people refused to accept anyone else in the role of Hamelt except for the original player? Imagine how much the world would lose if everything in theatre was one-off and never again.

    BTW, I think Lea Michele would be wonderful in the role, and I think a few other actresses would be as well. Each would bring something unique to it and I'm sure I would enjoy whoever played the part.

    June 10, 2010 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Tim,
      wonderful analogy with Hamlet. I think you have hit the nail right on the head. I agree that there are a number of actresses who could play Fanny (probably quite a few more complete unknowns!), but as a complete and total Gleek (yeah, I think the word is cool and I have given myself that label), I would love to see Lea Michelle in the role. I think she is amazing. As someone who lives in NYC, I would certainly traverse the subway to see her perform in the role! :-)

      June 10, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  16. Alan

    Of COURSE she should do it!! Shows were written to be performed forever, not once. She will be amazing, if they cast her.

    June 10, 2010 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  17. Kitchenator

    I'm a big fan of Lea's, and also have great respect for Streisand. I watched performances of "Don't Rain on My Parade" by both of them, and must say that Lea's was better – it blew me away. Reviving "Funny Girl" with Lea would get me to travel to Broadway to see it.

    June 10, 2010 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  18. lucinda

    Of course they are going to do a run of Funny Girl on broadway, why not? there hasn't been anything original in theater or on the screen ( The A-Team?) Let Lea do it, as long as it does not interfer with Glee!

    June 10, 2010 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  19. shabaz

    Oh come on! Not Lea.... She is the most annoying person on glee and to be honest she would compare very very poorly with Stresisand. She can sing yes, but her personality is not endearing like Stresisand. Have you seen her interviews ? SHe makes you want to switch channels

    June 9, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      She's playing an annoying character on GLEE - she's acting. And, apparently, really well because you buy it.

      June 10, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  20. Richard

    Don't do it!!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Joan

    Reviving Funny Girl is a bad idea. Barbra Streisand will always be Fanny Brice and Omar Sharif will always be Nick. A production of Funny Girl can never be topped in any way shape or form,somehow it becomes a cheap imitation of the original production.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      "Barbra Streisand will always be Fanny Brice and Omar Sharif will always be Nick."

      LOL. Fanny Brice will always be Fanny Brice - she was a real woman who Streisand only portrayed. And Sharif was nothing like the real Nick Arnstein.

      June 10, 2010 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Just a passing note: Omar Sharif portrayed Arnstein in the movie. On Broadway (which is what this article is about), Arnstein was played by Sydney Chaplin, opposite Barbra Streisand. And another side note: since its 1964 opening, Funny Girl is one of the few (if not the only) Tony-winning musicals NOT to be revived yet. They did a short week-long run at Lincoln Center 20 years ago, but never on B-way. And I think Lea is the one to do it.

      June 10, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  22. mushymushroom

    I think she has established her Broadway stature with Spring Awakening so I guess she can nail this one.

    She's a great actress and that makes me annoyed at her because her character in Glee; Rachel Berry is really annoying and she plays it well so whenever I see her I have to remind myself that she's Lea not Rachel and try to avoid being irritated at her. LoL.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  23. K

    Oh please no!! Lea is so good because she has NOT done a revival of a Streisand musical. Please let a perfect performance stand as a perfect performance and give Lea another role designed specifically for HER, as Barbra was.

    June 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  24. BILL

    Why do Funny Girl again? This girl is great, but no Streisand.

    June 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phyllis

      Agree; why don't they just re-release the Barbra Streisand version. It would still hold up today.

      June 10, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Lyle

      Phyllis, they are not talking about a movie, it's a revival on broadway.

      June 10, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Vic

      Agreed, she is definately no Barbra. Lyle, Barbra did it both on Broadway and in the movie.

      June 10, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  25. Brian

    She needs to be the new Funny Girl AND THE NEW ELPHABA! Please someone get on that. Lea Michelle as Elphaba in a Wicked Movie would be incredible...they even look like sisters (or mother/daughter...).

    June 9, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  26. r

    I would LOVE a revival of Funny Girl!

    June 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Debi

    She would be perfect as Fanny Brice!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca Wallace

      Still NOT better than Barbra Streisand, streisand's sooooooooooooooooo much better it's not even funnny! :)

      June 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca Wallace

      Barbra is AGAIN soooooooooo much better............... ahhhhhhh.........gee......... i really do wish w/all my heart that i could go back in time and actually see the old babs version (im only 13 though.........) :(

      June 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |

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