Lea Michele bids a heartfelt farewell to ‘Funny Girl’ as she prepares to take final bow | CNN


Lea Michele will play Fanny Brice in the Broadway musical revival of “Funny Girl” for the last time Sunday evening, and she’s been reflecting on what the experience has meant to her.

In a statement posted to her verified Instagram page on Sunday, Michele characterized her time playing Brice as “the role of a lifetime,” writing it was “an opportunity my younger self could have only dreamed of.”

“From watching ‘Funny Girl’ for the first time while I was in ‘Spring Awakening,’ to singing the songs on ‘Glee’ as Rachel Berry, to performing in front of Barbra Streisand at MusicCares, to holding my newborn son in my arms when I learned that this spectacular show would be returning to Broadway,” she wrote, adding “To now, my final performance and the final curtain close of what was a truly exceptional chapter of my life.”

Sunday night marks the close of the revived “Funny Girl” production, according to a statement shared with CNN in March.

The Tony-nominated show starred Streisand when it first opened on Broadway in 1964 and served as the inspiration for the 1968 Oscar-winning film “Funny Girl.”

Beanie Feldstein originally starred as Brice, the legendary early-20th century performer who falls in love with gambler Nick Arnstein, when the show opened in April of last year.

Initially besieged with setbacks, including a flurry of negative reviews following Feldstein’s debut, Michele went on to replace Feldstein as Brice in September 2022 after the “Booksmart” star announced her departure.

The “Glee” star acknowledged the challenges she faced when she took on the role, writing that the experience “has been filled with some of the most incredible accomplishments and challenging moments that I have such deep appreciation and gratitude for.”

Crediting her cast and crew for helping her learn “the true importance of connection, community, and fun,” she wrote she’s “damn proud of what we’ve accomplished together.”

She went on to give thanks to the audience members who came out every night to see her perform, to her family, her husband and her son for the support.

“As I take my final bow tonight, I’m carrying all of these overwhelming emotions with me as I end an unbelievable chapter of my life,” she said, adding: “Broadway has changed my life in the most unforgettable ways.”

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