See Lea as Fanny

Last week was the culmination of a dream for Lea Michele – to appear as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway.  According to reports, she got four standing ovations in the first act alone.  Several recordings from the night have surfaced, which prove that she can sing the role well – at least for now.  I wasn’t there, so this isn’t a review.  But I am told her assumption is very much like a Streisand tribute show – and that’s neither bad nor good.  Nor is it without precedent.  The first national tour of Funny Girl was led by Marilyn Michaels, who not only could sing but was also a gifted impressionist – specializing in Babs.  Maybe that’s what Lea’s going for.  I hear the show certainly has more life, the tempi are generally brisker, and it’s all just a bit like…well, you all saw the movie.  Alas, after a handful of shows, Michele is already out.  She’ll miss at least ten days, due to a positive Covid test.  Or maybe she’s a second-rate diva who can’t sustain.  In the meantime, listen to her renditions on BillyMasters.com.

By the by, I’m told that Lea’s contract dictates that she will get to make her own cast recording.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that is rushed for holiday sales.  Michele also insisted on reinstating the full ending to “The Music That Makes Me Dance” in addition to adding Fanny’s “I’d Rather Be Blue”, which was included in the film.

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