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Lea Michele Considered for 'Funny Girl' Revival?

Glee star Lea Michele's performance of "Don't Rain on My Parade" at the Tony Awards last night was sure to be adored and loved by her avid followers, but it only left the rest of us saying, "Alright, Lea, we get it: You want to be Fanny Brice."


@ Yahoo! Video

With the upcoming Funny Girl revival scheduled to hit the Broadway stage by 2012, Michele's multiple television "auditions" for the lead role of Fanny Brice must be making it hard for the producers to ignore her for what seems to be the 23-year-old actress' dream role.

Barbara Streisand took on the role of Fanny Brice when she was 21 in 1964. The show ran through 1967, collecting eight Tony nominations.

Despite Michele's performance of "Don't Rain On My Parade" in the first season of Glee (and her Tony Awards reprise), Funny Girl producer Bob Boyett (South Pacific) said that she doesn't have the part locked down quite yet. Of course, filling Streisand's shoes is no easy task, but Boyett and director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific) seem to be struggling to figure out exactly what they are looking for.

Boyett told the New York Times, "I think Lea is wonderful, she's great, and would certainly be on anybody's list. She's also got a pretty good gig going now [on Glee]." Boyett also said that they certainly are not set on casting a well-known actress in the role, either. Without naming anyone specific, he told the Times, "There have been a few Hollywood types who have expressed interest, but we're also open to going with an unknown actress."

The producer added that when he and Sher cast their revival of South Pacific, 16 relatively unknown actors earned their Equity cards after being hired for that production. So although Michele has a big resume, including headlining Spring Awakening on Broadway and starring on the Fox hit Glee, Boyett and Sher are big advocates for new talent.

I can't deny, however, that Michele's presence in Funny Girl would help ticket sales immensely. Since the actress has made herself such a presence as Rachel Berry, those who only know her from her TV fame are sure to bolster the audience of theater fanatics. However, since Boyett and Sher are planning to start the revival with a six-week out-of-town tryout run, it would prove difficult for Michele to spend as much time filming, touring, and appearing with the Glee cast.

But hopefully for Michele, any casting decision won't rain on her (or Rachel Berry's) parade.

-- Alison Mierzejewski

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