Former drama club members in high school have since swelled Beanie Feldstein booked the coveted role of Fanny Brice in the first revival of Funny girl on Broadway since the same musical shot a little person named Barbra Streisand to star status. That Bogsmart star who previously starred as Minnie Fay in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Hey, Dolly!, was chosen over a number of belts for the role – namely Lea Michele.
For a while, it looked like Michele had the role in the bag. Her Glee overachiever, Rachel Berry, was obsessed with Fanny Brice, would eventually play the role on Broadway in the world of the show and sang something iconic “Don’t Rain on my Parade” during Gleeis season one finale. Michele sang the song again at the 2010 Tony Awards in a move that many interpreted as her unofficial audition for the part. Ryan Murphy even secured the rights for Michele to star in the musical in 2014 … before calling the correct year after the world had seen enough of Michele’s Fanny Brice and telling Playbill.com that “we [did] so many of those songs and so many of those scenes [on Glee] that I in a strange way feel that we did. ”
Still, Michele remained persistent and told Andy Cohen in 2017 that she felt “really ready” to finally play a production, “so maybe we could do it soon.” Alas, it should not be. While Michele’s alleged bullying and difficult on-set behavior may have taken her out of the race to play Fanny Brice long before Feldstein was involved, the official announcement that Feldstein had won the role was like hearing that an extremely talented beginner had caught the lead in the school musical over the elderly woman who spent years allegedly paying her dues.
As such, the high school’s cafeteria, which is Twitter, was stalled by the news – so much so that Michele was in trend after Feldstein’s casting was announced. But in a recent interview on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM Radio Show, Feldstein claimed she had no idea why Lea Michele was trending that day.
Connected by her American Crime Story: Impeachment costars Annaliegh Ashford and Sarah Paulson, Feldstein – who plays as Monica Lewinsky on the FX series – discussed the thrill of getting to play his dream role on Broadway. Speaking of nothing, Cohen said to Feldstein, “By the way, you got that part, and Lea Michele started trending on Twitter because everyone knew she wanted the part. Has there been any correspondence between you yet?”
“I did not know any of this was happening by the way,” said a truly nonchalant Feldstein as Ashford covered his mouth in shock and Paulson smiled deliberately on their respective Zoom screens. However, Feldstein kept her cool and continued: “I did not understand. But she wrote very sweetly on my Instagram. I do not know the woman at all. Cohen responded positively, saying, “Oh, that’s great. Well, I love this. ”
Although the internet has run amok with the claim that Feldstein does not know who Michele is, it is quite clear from the video that this is not the case. She did not say she had never heard of Michele; she’s just saying they do not know each other. They do not speak. They do not send sms. She does not know the woman. No matter what. It’s more of a Mariah Carey “I do not know her” situation than a “I do not know who you are talking about” situation.
Given the relative smallness of the musical theater community and their status as Ryan Murphy muses, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until Michele and Feldstein’s paths cross. Hopefully for Feldstein it is not backstage at Funny girl near any of her wigs.
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