Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Broadway: “Funny Girl” Star Lea Michele Took the Weekend Off Because She Was “Under the Weather”


“Funny Girl” is surging at the box office as the production prepares to close over Labor Day weekend.

The fans are turning out to see star Lea Michele play Fanny Brice after her bravura performance on the Tony Awards.

But those fans were surely disappointed this past weekend. Lea Michele missed the shows on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. A message posted to the show’s social media said she was “under the weather.”

Standby Julie Benko filled in but she was ready anyway. Benko plays the Thursday night show, where she’s become the Understudy of the Year.

Indeed, the one person who got a lot out of “Funny Girl” is Benko. She started under Beanie Feldstein, who was often MIA. Then Lea Michele’s term brought the Thursday gig and plenty of fill ins.

Benko’s next gig once “Funny Girl” ends is starring in Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s “Harmony.” She finally gets to top line. It’s about time!

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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