Lea Michele – From Canceled to Broadway



Lea Michele starring as Fanny Brice in Broadway’s revival of the musical Funny Girl.

Leah Dennison, Staff Writer

Lea Michele, best known for her portrayal of Rachel Barry in the hit show Glee (2009-2015), has finally made her debut as Fanny Brice in the Broadway musical Funny Girl. Despite already taking a brief break due to Covid, fans are eager for Michele’s return. But, should Michele be praised as a Broadway star considering the allegations surrounding her name?


Michele’s character in Glee, Rachel Barry, is a talented young girl with big dreams of becoming a Broadway star. So when she finally joins her school’s Glee club, Barry’s musical talent shines through. Her most iconic performance of the show is arguably seen in season 1 episode 13, when she sings Don’t Rain on my Parade from the musical Funny Girl at sectionals of the Glee competition, hence why her earning the role is so notable.


Getting the chance to become Fanny Brice in Funny Girl years after the show ended is a full circle moment for Michele, as both herself and her character idolize Barbra Streisand, the original Fanny Brice on Broadway. This actually isn’t Michele’s Broadway debut, as she has actually appeared in four other musicals including Les Misérables, Ragtime, Fiddler on the Roof and Spring Awakening. The original person for the part in the revival of Funny Girl was Beanie Feldstein, however when she announced her departure from the show on July 31, the replacement was found. Michele would be taking over as the lead of Funny Girl starting Sept. 6.


Although many are excited to see the new Fanny Brice, controversy has sparked considering Michele had been canceled in 2020 due to allegations of bullying on set during the filming of Glee. When Michele showed her support towards the Black Lives Matter movement, backlash quickly arose as her co-stars came out with the truth; that Michele had mistreated black coworkers on set. She lost brand deals, fans and a good reputation. Despite her negative actions back in the day, it appears that Michele’s talent is more important than her past, and now she is the leading lady at the August Wilson Theatre. While it is impossible to erase her past, hopefully Michele has learned and grown from her previous mistakes.