Lea Michele’s Funny Girl has broken an all-time Broadway record.
The former Glee star, who took over as Fanny Brice in July, saved the show from critically panned star Beanie Feldstein.
The Broadway revival’s gross for its eight performances ending December 18 was $2,005,696.80, which is the highest gross for the production and for August Wilson Theater according to Just Jared.
The latest: Lea Michele’s Funny Girl has broken an all-time Broadway record
Funny Girl broke the record previously set by Mean Girls, which had a house record of $1,994,386 – from 2018.
Lea’s first appearance was on September 6, after taking over the role from Beanie Feldstein.
After it was announced that Lea would be stepping into the role, tickets to her show skyrocketed immediately.
Beanie announced that she would be leaving Funny Girl earlier than expected on July 31 instead of September 25 – with understudy Julie Benko taking over until Lea’s September start.
The Star: The gross of the Broadway revival for its eight performances ending December 18 was $2,005,696.80, which is the highest gross for the production and for August Wilson Theater according to Just Jared
In July and August, tickets for the show sold for just $69, with weekday shows going for $49, according to Seat Geek.
After Lea’s participation in the show was announced, tickets cost $570 to $2,500, not including the $500 service fee.
While it was initially announced that Beanie would be leaving the show on September 25, she took to her Instagram in mid-July and shocked her fans by stating that she would, in fact, be leaving the show early at the end of that month.
It was alleged that Beanie learned from Gawker that she was being replaced by Lea after a series of poor reviews, and that she was in such a state of being booted out of her “dream role” that she surprised the producers by publicly quitting early.
An inside source told The Daily Beast that Beanie, whose older brother is Jonah Hill, was “basically fired” from the show.
However, the producers and a representative for Beanie told People in a joint statement, “The producers of Funny Girl were not blindsided by Beanie’s social post.”
They continued, “The producers decided to take the show in a different direction and terminate Beanie’s contract on September 25, six months earlier than expected. A month after that decision, Beanie decided it was best for her to leave on July 31. The producers were aware of and supported her decision.”
The statement concluded: “The producers and Beanie have worked professionally, respectfully and gracefully together on this.”
Moving on: Beanie Feldstein previously held the role in the revival. Her singing received mixed reviews, but others praised the actress and her costars
The current Funny Girl revival is being directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony for the original production of Spring Awakening – the show that made Lea a Broadway star.
Beanie opened on the show on April 24 to a disappointing critical response, including from the New York Times, whose theater reviews could make or break a show decades ago.
The New York Times review noted that the role was sculpted around Barbra’s abilities and that July Styne composed the music so that “only Barbra could sing it.”
Final farewell: Feldstein said goodbye to her starring role as Fanny Brice in Broadway’s Funny Girl, following her final performance at the August Wilson Theater
Funny Girl was originally a passion project for producer Ray Stark, who was married to Frances Arnstein, the daughter of the late Fanny Brice.
The show presented a fictionalized account of Fanny’s rise to fame in the 1910s and her marriage to Frances’ father, con artist gambler Nicky Arnstein.
For her first Broadway show as a lead, Barbra teamed up with composer Jule Styne, lyricist Bob Merrill, book writer Isobel Lennart, and director Garson Kanin.
She was already a showstopper on the Broadway show I Can Get It For You Wholesale and made a few albums, but it was Funny Girl that made her a superstar.
No more summer shows: Lea takes the show seriously, too. She recently canceled her remaining summer concert tour dates so she could focus on preparing for the role; still from Glee
The score spawned one of her most enduring hits – People – which became the title track of her album that ousted the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night from number one.
When the show opened on Broadway, it was a huge success and she received an enthusiastic response for her performance, which she also took to London.
Barbra starred opposite Charlie Chaplin’s son Sydney – with whom she had an affair during her marriage to her first husband Elliott Gould.
She reprized her role for the film, which gathered Old Hollywood stalwarts like director William Wyler and cinematographer Harry Stradling.
Who’s who: The current Funny Girl revival is directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony for the original production of Spring Awakening – the show that made Lea a star in 2006; Hat pictured
Her protagonist in the film was Omar Sharif, with whom she also had an affair – and with whom she caused a scandal when a still of one of their staged kisses for the film became public in 1967, the year of the Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel.
The film was the highest-grossing of 1968, with Roger Ebert writing, “The problem with Funny Girl is almost anything but Barbra Streisand.” She’s magnificent.’
Although the film spawned a critically savage sequel in 1975 called Funny Lady, the show has never been revived on the Great White Way before.
A Broadway revival starring Lauren Ambrose as Fanny was attempted in 2011, but was ultimately scrapped due to fundraising issues.
In 2015 and 2016, a London production with Sheridan Smith in the title role was a resounding success.
The show went from a limited engagement at the Menier Chocolate Factory to an extended run at the Savoy Theater, which was then extended due to popular demand.
The music that makes me dance: Barbra is pictured on stage in the original production of Funny Girl – the project that made her a superstar