Lea Michele pauses ‘Funny Girl’ run after getting COVID-19

Days after her first bow as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl, Lea Michele has taken a break from the role amid “a very intense COVID outbreak” at the August Wilson Theatre.

On Saturday, the ‘Glee’ graduate announced that she had tested ‘officially positive’ for the coronavirus after receiving an ‘inconclusive’ test result earlier that day. According to ‘production log’, Michele will be on the bench for 10 days after missing both performances on Saturday.

“Thank god we stayed home today and saved so many members of our company from being exposed,” Michele said in a statement shared to her Instagram story.

“Funny Girl has been, and continues to be, hit by a tremendous wave of COVID, with nearly a dozen company members currently on sick leave. We’re almost on the other side of that and our swings and understudy are doing such an incredible job of keeping our show going. This week has been a dream come true and I can’t wait to come back – you better get ready. See you soon.”

A story on the Funny Girl website confirms that Michele will return to the stage on September 20 as a Jewish variety legend. Until then, her understudy, Julie Benko, takes over the role of Fanny. Those who have already paid to see Michele perform this month have the opportunity to exchange their tickets.

Other cast members taking a break starting Saturday include Debra Cardona (Mrs. Meeker), Toni DiBuono (Mrs. Strakosh), Peter Francis James (Ziegfeld), Martin Moran (Keeney), Ephie Aardema (Emma/Mrs. Nadler), Amber Ardolino (Vera/Ensemble), Stephen Mark Lukas (Renaldi/Ensemble/Paul), John Manzari (RTT Man/Ensemble) and Justin Prescott (Cornet Man/Ensemble).

On Tuesday, Michele made her Funny Girl debut at the August Wilson Theater, where she received a six standing ovation. According to Variety, the show was attended by Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy and Michele’s former Spring Awakening co-star Jonathan Groff.

In July, Michele was tapped to replace Beanie Feldstein on Funny Girl after the Booksmart star revealed she was leaving the production “sooner than expected” due to creative differences.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-09-11/lea-michele-funny-girl-coronavirus-test-outbreak Lea Michele pauses ‘Funny Girl’ run after getting COVID-19

Sarah Ridley

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