The Perfect Enemy | Lea Michele Out of Funny Girl Performance After Early Signs of COVID
September 29, 2022
Read Time:3 Minute

Lea Michele‘s Fanny Brice is taking a break.


The actress, 36, shared in an Instagram Story post that she won’t be taking the stage for Saturday evening’s performance of Broadway’s Funny Girl due to “early signs” of COVID-19.


“I’m devastated to say that due to early signs and symptoms of COVID and an inconclusive test result — due to the production’s safety protocols I’m not allowed to perform for today’s shows,” she wrote, adding that she plans to test again and will know more about Sunday’s performance soon.


“Julie [Benko] is going to crush it today as Fanny — as are all of our amazing understudies who have stepped up so incredibly this week while we battle a very intense covid outbreak in our theater,” Michele continued, finishing the message with a broken heart emoji.


A source close to production tells PEOPLE that there is “an outbreak among the crew and cast, so they’re obviously putting safety first.” They add that “dozens of understudies will be performing tonight.”


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Lea Michele/Instagram



When the actress made her return to Broadway on Tuesday after a 13-year absence, Michele received four standing ovations before the end of Act 1, including one after the show’s signature tune, “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Another two followed in the show’s second act.


Michele previously posted a heartfelt Instagram message reacting to the love she has received for her role in the show, which takes place nightly at New York City’s August Wilson Theatre.


“I want to say thank you whole heartedly for the support following my first performance on the broadway stage as Fanny Brice,” she wrote on Wednesday. “I know I’ve said it before, but joining this cast has truly been the greatest honor. I am so grateful to every person involved in this production.”




Cheering her on Tuesday was an electric crowd of friends and fans alike — from her best friend Jonathan Groff, to their fellow Spring Awakening costars, John Gallagher Jr. and Gideon Glick.


Drew Barrymore was also in attendance, as was Zachary Quinto, Lee Pace, Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and prolific producer Ryan Murphy, who worked with Michele in Glee and Scream Queens.


Michele — and Tovah Feldshuh, who was also debuting in the production on Tuesday as Fanny’s mother — were showered with praise during the musical’s curtain call, each getting a bouquet of roses from their company members.


Taking one another’s hands, the two actresses shared a group bow before Michele stepped center stage on her own. She made eye contact with a sobbing Groff in the audience, pointing at him and sending a smile his way before scurrying off backstage.


Ahead of her first performance, the actress told PEOPLE that she was excited to have some of her friends and family supporting her in the crowd.




“I know Jon [Groff] and John [Gallagher Jr.] are going to be there,” she said. “So I have all of my people. It’s wonderful.”


The actress said that her Spring Awakening group chat was filled with nothing but well wishes upon the news that she’d be stepping into the revival following original star Beanie Feldstein‘s exit in July.


“Everyone is so incredibly supportive,” she said of her former cast members. “I mean, literally, it’s just a constant support for all of us.”


The Glee alum also said she had multiple “mini” celebrations since she learned she’d be taking over the role of Fanny Brice, a part she played before as Rachel Berry on the Fox musical series. She also sang the musical’s show-stopping “Don’t Rain on My Parade” at the 64th Annual Tony Awards in 2010.