Life is gleefully imitating art for Lea Michele, who will perform at the Tony Awards with the Broadway revival of Funny Girl on Sunday, June 11.
“Somewhere Rachel Berry is smiling. @thetonyawards tonight!” the actress, 36, captioned a rehearsal photo from the stage of New York City’s United Palace on Sunday via Instagram.
After many homages to the Barbra Streisand movie throughout the show, the Glee series finale showed Michele’s character, Rachel Berry, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for a Funny Girl revival. The New York native, however, won’t get to make an acceptance speech.
Michele — who shares son Ever, 2, with husband Zandy Reich — is not eligible for a Tony this year after joining the musical in September 2022. Funny Girl debuted last April with Beanie Feldstein in the lead role. Feldstein, 29, was considered the actress who originated the role in this particular production, making her the only Fanny actress eligible.
Feldstein was not nominated at last year’s ceremony amid overwhelmingly negative reviews. Michele, meanwhile, has been showered with positive feedback since her debut at the August Wilson Theater.
Despite the production’s ineligibility for this year’s trophies, Michele and the cast of Funny Girl will make an appearance to perform — and a different Glee alum took the stage to accept a Tony Awards.
Alex Newell won the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical category on Sunday night, becoming the first gender nonconforming performer to earn a Tony. The actor played Wade/Unique Adams on Glee after appearing on the reality show The Glee Project. They won their award for their portrayal of Lulu in the new musical comedy Shucked.
“I have wanted this my entire life, and I thank each and every one of you in this room right now,” Newell said. “And mommy, I love you. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for teaching me what strength is. To my entire building, cast and crew of Shucked. You are my rock. I love you all. Thank you for seeing me, Broadway.”
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The new Tony Award winner concluded with a message of hope: “I should not be up here as a queer, nonbinary, fat, black, little baby from Massachusetts. And to anyone that thinks that they can’t do it, I’m going to look you dead in your face and tell you that you can do anything you put your mind to.”