The line between Lea Michele and her “Glee” alter ego, Rachel Berry, continues to blur now that she’s taking over the role of Fanny Brice in Broadway’s “Funny Girl” revival. On Friday, Michele posted a photo of herself standing beneath the “Funny Girl” marquee at the August Wilson Theatre alongside a snap from “Glee” featuring Rachel doing almost the exact same thing on Instagram. She captioned the post, “A dream come true. ❤️.”
In season five of “Glee,” Rachel landed the role of Fanny on Broadway, which allowed Michele to live out her real-life “Funny Girl” dreams on the small screen. This time around, the “Spring Awakening” star is taking on the role for real after Beanie Feldstein left the production early. Michele’s first performance is set for September 6, and she has cleared her schedule to make the Broadway show her number one priority.
Originally, Michele was scheduled to do a “Life in Music” tour this summer, but after performing three of the six shows, she reportedly canceled the remainder of the tour to focus on “Funny Girl” rehearsals, per Harper’s Bazaar. Although the actor has not addressed the cancellation directly, it seems that the final three shows conflicted with her rehearsal schedule.
Given how long Michele has been campaigning to play Fanny in a “Funny Girl” revival, it’s not surprising she’s channeling her inner Rachel and focusing all of her energy on perfecting her performance before her debut. Back in 2014, “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy was planning to bring “Funny Girl” back to Broadway with Michele as the star, but his plans never came to fruition. He ultimately told Entertainment Weekly that in many ways Rachel’s “Glee” arc fulfilled his dream.
“We had talked about it for sure,” Murphy told EW in 2015, per Playbill. “But then I feel like we [did] so many of those songs and so many of those scenes [on ‘Glee’] that in a weird way, I feel like we did it in some way.”
Despite Murphy’s feelings on the subject, it’s clear Michele never gave up on making her “Funny Girl” dreams come true beyond Rachel Berry’s fictional Broadway run.