Just as the prophecy (the hit 2010s musical dramedy Glee) foretold, Rachel Berry’s — I mean, Lea Michele’s first performance as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl was well-received, to put it lightly. According to Deadline, the star clocked in at least four standing ovations before intermission alone.
There was far more applause throughout the show, the cherry on top being an especially enthusiastic — one may even say Glee-ful — ovation at the final curtain, where Michele was presented with a rose bouquet alongside with Tovah Feldshuh, who made her debut as Mrs. Brice.
The audience was speckled with Michele supporters, including Glee creator Ryan Murphy, Murphy-verse actor Zachary Quinto and the actress’s Spring Awakening co-star and best friend Jonathan Groff, who was allegedly (and unsurprisingly) the most enthusiastic applauder of all.
\u201cik everyone\u2019s focused on lea michele rn but I\u2019m stuck on the fact that ryan murphy was in the audience tonight watching the plotline he wrote for rachel berry 8 years ago come true. he\u2019s living in his own episode\u201d— Believe :)(: (@Believe :)(:) 1662523028
Also worth noting was the apparently large laugh from the crowd when the actress uttered the line: “I hadn’t read many books.” If you’ve been somehow living under a Michele-free rock, the laughter almost certainly stemmed from the conspiracy theory dating back to Glee that the polarizing star is unable to read (actress Jameela Jamil recently spoke out about the memes perpetuating this theory, calling them “elitist” and “ableist.”) Michele has fervently denied the illiteracy allegations, but the conspiracy continues to thrive online.
Whether or not she can actually read, this hypothesis, like the more serious allegations of bullying and microaggressions made by her former co-stars, is clearly not raining on the actress’s parade or impacting her career in any significant way — no matter how much she’s called out for it.
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