Say “hello gorgeous” to Lea Michele’s first look as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl

Hello, Mr. Ziegfeld, this is…

Forget guys in ruffled shirts, we’ve got something even more exciting – our first look at Lea Michele as Girls jokes new Fanny Brice. We here at EW are the “luckiest people in the world” to share an exclusive first look at the former Joy stars in costume as Brice, as well as a sneak peek at new artwork for the show.

“I was talking to Harvey Fierstein, who I adore, about my first performance on Tuesday,” Michele said in an exclusive statement to EW. “He asked me how I felt about this big night ahead. I told him I felt ‘over the moon and so nervous at the same time.’ He said ‘that’s called being alive and living with that feeling.'” She was the perfect advice.”

“This is such a dream come true for me,” she added, “And I can’t wait to take the stage on Tuesday as Fanny Bryce on Broadway.”

Funny girl Lea Michele

Mary Ellen Matthews Lea Michele as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl”

Michele is resplendent as Brice in one of the character’s signature hat and coat ensembles, wearing a period-style brunette wig. The new art riff is on the current design for the show, replacing the big yellow bow on Brice’s head with a yellow flowery hat.

The production previously shared a first look at Michele rehearsing for the role, dancing and working with her co-stars.

Her run as Fanny Brice begins September 6 at the August Wilson Theatre, and Michele is set to remain with the show until 2023 (pending Julie Benko, who took over as Brice for the month of August, will continue to star in the show nightly of Thursday).

Signs of rebirth Girls jokes first return to Broadway since its original debut in 1964, starring Barbra Streisand in the title role. The musical follows Fanny from her early years dreaming of making it as a performer to her success as a member of Florenz Ziegfeld’s company — all while following her complicated romance with gambler Nick Arnstein (Ramin Karimloo).

Michele takes over the role after Beanie Feldstein and Benko, and will be joined by Tovah Feldshuh (Crazy ex-girlfriend) as Fanny’s mother Rose, who replaces Michele Joy Jane Lynch. This production also reunites Michele with herself Spring awakening director, Michael Mayer, who, along with new book writer Harvey Fierstein, helped revive Broadway. Fittingly, Mayer first introduced Michele funny girl, through film transfer while working with her Spring awakening.

Funny girl Lea Michele

Funny girl Lea Michele

Mary Ellen Matthews

In a way, it’s like Michele has been preparing for the role of Brice for most of her life. The star of Broadway impressed again and again by delivering songs from Funny girl while starring Joy.

Her character, Rachel Berry, obsessed over Barbra Streisand and the legend’s take on Bryce, singing ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’, ‘Who Are You Now’, ‘My Man’ and ‘People’ during her presence. Joy.

Michele became almost synonymous with Streisand with “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” singing it on Joy live tour and even the Tony Awards. Indeed, in his final season Joy, in a moment where life now imitates art (or vice versa), Michele’s Rachel landed her dream role as Fanny Brice in a Broadway revival Funny girl.

For a time, it seemed Joy Creator Ryan Murphy may make it happen, acquiring the rights to produce with Michele considered his top choice to star. However, Michele felt mixed emotions at the prospect then. “I didn’t feel like there was anything new I could bring,” he said recently New York Times, referring to how much the show’s TV score had already dropped.

Now, he said to Times, “I feel more ready than ever, both personally and professionally.”

It’s not quite the “biggest star” proclamation, but starting September 6, the world will finally get to see Michele play Brice on a Broadway stage — in all her ginger and jazz.

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