Lea Michele returns to perform “Funny Girl” songs on TV, but no longer as her “Glee” character, Rachel Berry.
On Friday’s episode of “The Tonight Show,” Michele sang a number from the musical and spoke with host Jimmy Fallon about bringing her talents from “Funny Girl” from the Emmy-winning Fox sitcom “Glee” to the stage. from broadway. The actor-singer took over the role of Fanny Brice in early September after Beanie Feldstein left the production ahead of schedule.
“I’ve wanted to go back to Broadway for so many years,” Michele told Fallon. “I was away for 15 years, ‘Spring Awakening’ was the last show I did, but to come back…and be on the show that I’ve loved for so many years…I’m such a fan of this production.”
Long before she was tapped to replace Feldstein in July, Michele had already manifested her “Funny Girl” moment by performing several songs from the show on “Glee”—her character, Rachel, even played Fanny in a fictional Broadway revival of “Funny Girl”. ” towards the end of the series.
In an example of life imitating art, Michele received six standing ovations on her opening night last month at the August Wilson Theater. She recently returned to the stage as the Jewish vaudeville legend after missing several shows due to a case of COVID-19.
After chatting with Fallon, Michele delivered a passionate rendition of “People,” famously sung by Barbra Streisand during the original Broadway run of “Funny Girl” in the 1960s.
“It’s so fantastic,” Michele said on “The Tonight Show.”
“I’m 36 years old now, and the history of ‘Funny Girl’ spans…many years. You see her love and her loss and her failures and her successes and becoming a mother and a wife, and I feel like, at this point, to be where I am right now, it’s just perfect. Timing is everything, and I’m so thankful.”