Lea Michele is replacing Beanie Feldstein as Fanny Brice in the first ever Broadway revival of Funny Girl since Barbra Streisand invented
musicals the part in 1964. This is big a victory against cancel culture and here is why:
If you have ever watched a single episode of the cultural phenomenon that was Glee you know that Lea Michele has pipes and was perhaps born to this earth with the destiny of someday portraying Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice (reinventing the role is for rookies- just ask Beanie who got fired for it). In Season 1 Episode 13, a fresh-faced young Michele absolutely belts Don’t Rain on My Parade (perhaps one of the most important and iconic songs in musical history and definitely the most important in Funny Girl) to close the first season of the series and clinch her Glee team’s competition victory. I have chills remembering where I was the day it happened. It was from that day that hers, ours, and Broadway’s fate was sealed.
Since then, Lea (who is a seasoned Broadway performer and star of the smash stage hit Spring Awakening as well as a Screen Actors Guild award winner), performed the song live at the Tony Awards as well as several other live performances and the plot of Glee lead her character Rachel to star as Fanny Brice in a Funny Girl revival on fake Broadway in the Glee universe. It was foretold.
Lately, Lea has been the subject of the woke generation’s ire and was a victim of “cancel culture” due to allegations of her bad behavior on the set of Glee. In 2020 a the height of the BLM movement and liberal victimhood, an actress and singer named Samantha Ware had a small part on Glee in its sixth season claimed that Lea “microaggressed” her which led to a slew of other unconfirmed accusations in the same tired chorus claiming a talented woman is a “diva” but this time with the extra liberal bend of implying transphobia and racism as they always feel the need to do.
Of course, like all liberals with a victim complex, Samantha does not own up to any of her probable diva behavior (the theater is not known for kindness or good tempers) nor do any of these accusations about Lea account for the fact that her longtime boyfriend and costar (Cory Monteith) had been a serious drug addict and had died of an overdose likely causing some trauma for her and perhaps altering her emotional landscape. No one took any time to hear Lea’s side of the story, accept her apology or apply any kind of equitable or fair treatment before firing her from various jobs and endorsement deals.
Early in 2022, the first ever revival of Funny Girl was announced along with the casting of Fanny Brice as Beanie Feldstein. Feldstein was (and is) enjoying a bit of a renaissance in her career as a talented actor who recently portrayed Monica Lewinsky in American Crime Story: Impeachment. There was no problem with casting Feldstein as Fanny Brice except that the major internet takeaway was that Feldstein WASN’T Michele who clearly was made for the role. The left took many dunks.
Unfortunately, Feldstein’s performance was met with pretty poor reviews. Because Feldstein is not a powerhouse vocalist (a baffling decision by the Director), she reimagined the role to more fit the comedy and heart of Fanny and less the big song numbers. Unsurprisingly, critics and audiences didn’t really care for the reinvention considering how long they have awaited a reprisal and how iconic Barbra Streisand really is. The producers of the show pressed for Feldstein to be let go due to poor performance (ouch) and replaced. None of this was really Feldstein’s fault, and frankly, her casting, direction and firing was all handled pretty poorly. But that’s for another day.
This time the producers, wisely, decided not to take any chances and they recast Feldstein with Michele who they are absolutely positive will smash the part out of the park and due more of an imitation of Barbra Streisand than an invention of a new part.
The drama is delicious. Of course Ware and the other “accusers” are bent out of shape that the evil diva of their nightmares has been rewarded for being talented and hard working. Doesn’t America know that people should be handed things based on their perception of being marginalized?
To make matters more theatrical (as they should be…it is after all the theater), Jane Lynch who was also starring in the show, cut her contract short short departing the day before Lea Michele takes over the Brice role. Lynch had nothing but nice things to say about Michele getting the part but still of course the rumors abound.
Ultimately, there is no question that Michele’s entry to the revival will sell out every show and make tickets desperately unaffordable. But despite her liberal politics and probably annoying personality, her finally being cast in the role she has always deserved is a major blow to liberal cancel culture which says that we are not the sum of our parts but instead defined only by singular accusations of character flaws or missteps or perceived moral deficiencies.
Brava to Lea Michele! And suck it lefties.