Saturday, May 18, 2024

Broadway: It Worked, Lea Michele Saves “Funny Girl,” Box Office Up By $1 Million a Week


Maybe the next role for Lea Michele should be Wonder Woman.

Since the “Glee” star took over as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” on Broadway, the box office has shot up by a million dollars a week. People, it turns out, like people who sell tickets!

In the first week of Lea Michele’s run, the numbers were $1,636,212. That was up from a long summer of between $600,000 and $700,000 a week with mostly stand by players as Beanie Feldstein jumped ship. Prior to Beanie’s exit, the show was at its highest with $1.2 million back on May 29th. But then it went into enough of a decline that most shows with this kind of budget would have closed.

Enter Lea Michele. Frist week, great. Second week, she got COVID and the excellent stand by, Julie Benko, was back to save the day.

Last week Lea Michele was back, and box office popped up again to $1.640 million. The parade is in full swing and no one is raining on it. (Having Tovah Feldshuh steal the show as Fanny’s mother didn’t hurt, either.)

This news will revive the call to let new actors taking over parts in shows be re-considered for Tony Awards. If Lea Michele and Tovah Feldshuh had been in the original launch last April they’d not only have been nominated, but they might have won!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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