Monday, June 17, 2024

Broadway: Lea Michele Is Taking the Day off from “Funny Girl” to Get Ready for Her Big Night at the Tony Awards


This is what I call dedication!

Lea Michele, who’s been playing Fanny Brice on and off since last September, is skipping today’s performances of “Funny Girl.”

Why? She’s preparing, resting, and getting geared up for tomorrow night’s Tony Awards. She’s leading her company though a bunch of their famous songs on the CBS show beginning at 8pm.

Julie Benko, her ever reliable and quite talented standby, is taking over Fanny’s part today for matinee and evening.

Benko has been plugging away since the show opening in spring 2022 when she was filling in all the time for Beanie Feldstein.

“Funny Girl” didn’t receive any major Tony nominations last year when it was eligible. But it rebounded with Michele when she arrived last September, and will play through this September when she leaves. Benko is going on to another musical.

Meantime, it looks like all the actual Tony nominees will be performing both of their shows today.

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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