A months-long social media firestorm – and a literal New York downpour – wasn’t enough to rain on Lea Michele’s parade while making her “Funny Girl” debut on Broadway Tuesday night.
In what will prove to be one of the most anticipated and scrutinized stage performances of the year, Michele’s take on Fanny Brice (a role she inherited after Beanie Feldstein bowed out earlier this summer) apparently did not disappoint. Twitter reactions from the lucky few in the August Wilson Theatre’s sold-out, 1,275-seat audience highlight a performance that got four standing ovations before intermission (and six or seven in all); humorous, real-time reactions to ongoing rumors of the star’s ability to read; and star sightings of longtime pals and collaborators like Ryan Murphy and Jonathan Groff.
“Holy s–t yes she’s that good,” wrote one Twitter user.
In the lead up, fans not fortunate enough to be in the audience Tuesday waited with bated breath.
Others drew a line to pop culture’s other trending topic of the week: the “Don’t Worry Darling” press tour and Venice Film Festival premiere:
And the audience feedback began rolling in at intermission, with one Broadway parody account even joking that producers added a second intermission just to keep the reactions coming.
The celebrity sightings abounded. Opening night attendees included Drew Barrymore, Jonathan Groff, John Gallagher Jr., Ryan Murphy, New York governor Kathy Hochul, Zachary Quinto, Lee Pace, Thom Browne and others.
And it wasn’t just praise for Michele and her “Funny Girl” costars pouring in. Audience members also shared real-time dispatches – from minor costume malfunctions to inevitable bootleg recordings to audience reactions to some rather prescient moments in the script.
All in all, eager Twitter users and members of the press in attendance seem to agree: Michele’s performance in “Funny Girl,” no matter how scrutinized in the lead-up for reasons both good and bad, is worth the price of admission.