Lea Michele will have her final curtain call as Fanny Brice on Sunday night when her acclaimed run in Funny Girl officially comes to an end. Ahead of her last time needing people who need people, the Glee alum is reflecting on the role made iconic, and nearly unapproachable, by Barbra Streisand.
"The role of a lifetime. For the past year. I've had the honor and privilege of playing the iconic Fanny Brice on the August Wilson stage. An opportunity my younger self could have only dreamed of. And did," Michele posted to Instagram.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions Lea Michele performing 'Don't Rain on My Parade' at the 2023 Tony Awards
Despite some controversy over her casting, Michele did the nigh-impossible and made Funny Girl her own, earning universal acclaim and nightly standing ovations. Though she was ineligible for a Tony nomination, Michele was still given a special slot at this year's ceremony to perform the showstopper of all showstoppers, "Don't Rain on My Parade."
"I've always felt a deep love and connection to this story, and to Fanny, a remarkable woman who relentlessly blazed a trail in the entertainment industry," Michele's Instagram victory lap continued. "Somehow her essence has continuously been there serving as inspiration and motivation throughout the most pivotal corners of my life."
Like her Glee character Rachel Berry, Michele has been obsessed with Funny Girl for most of her life so it's no wonder that finally given the chance, and with a tailwind of negative publicity resulting from her time on the Ryan Murphy musical dramedy, she would ravenously sink her teeth into the role.
Lea Michele had something to prove and she proved it.
The actress went on to thank the show's "talented cast and hardworking crew," adding that through them she's learned "the true importance of connection, community, and fun!"
"To every single person who came to see our show," Michele wrote, "Your support, enthusiasm, applause, and standing ovations have brought me to tears more times that I can count. I am forever grateful."
Michele ended her post by noting what "an unbelievable chapter of my life" this has been and how "grateful" she is "to be a small part" of Broadway's "remarkable history."
"Thank you all for allowing me to share this journey with you," she concluded. "I cannot wait to see what's next."