Idina Menzel almost starred in a revival of ‘Funny Girl’ but then ‘COVID happened’

Idina Menzel almost starred in a revival of ‘Funny Girl’ but then ‘COVID happened’

Fanny get your runs, we could have had Menzel as Brice?

Lester Fabian Brathwaite

525,600 minutes. How can you measure… another year without Idina as Fanny Brice?

The Broadway vet seems an obvious choice to have starred in Funny Girl at some point, and turns out she almost did. On a recent episode of Watch What Happens Live, the Rent and Wicked star described how the pandemic rained on her parade.

“I was supposed to,” Menzel told host Andy Cohen about taking on the iconic role. “But I always thought that I’d be too elderly. They were going to try to encapsulate more of her past at the Brice estate. It didn’t work out. COVID was born. “

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 09: Idina Menzel attends D23 Expo 2022 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on September 09, 2022. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney); NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 06: Lea Michele as “Fanny Brice” in “Funny Girl” on Broadway at The August Wilson Theatre on September 6, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

Idina Menzel (left), who played Lea Michele’s mom on ‘Glee,’ almost starred in a revival of ‘Funny Girl’

| Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty for Disney; Bruce Glikas/WireImage

What’s this “too old” business? This is Broad-way! Idina Menzel can defy gravity. What’s stopping her from defying age limitations?

Of course, Funny Girl finally made its way back to The Great White Way after Barbra Streisand originated and all but retired the role nearly 60 years ago. No one dared step into Streisand’s shoes on Broadway until Beanie Feldstein bravely, if misguidedly, took on the challenge earlier this year.

After a run hampered by illness, tepid reviews, and the ghost of Nicky Arnstein, Feldstein left the show and was replaced by Lea Michele in a cloud of controversy and veiled sighs of relief.

Menzel played Michele’s absentee mother Shelby Corcoran on Glee and gave her former onscreen daughter her seal of approval, even though she’s yet to see her performance.

Lea’s the right choice,” Menzel stated of Michele. “I haven’t seen her yet, because I live in L.A. and haven’t been back. ”

Although Menzel didn’t get the chance to be Broadway’s biggest star, she was able to perform “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in front of O.G. Fanny Brice, Ms. Barbra Joan Streisand, at her Kennedy Center Honors tribute in 2008. She described it as “daunting” but also “horrifying”. But things got truly horrifying after her performance.

Menzel was seated at Streisand’s table after she had sung her heart out. The legend didn’t recognize her for “about one hour.” “

” Then, Menzel sat down at Streisand’s table with her fan and her glasses. She said, “Did you sing Don’t Rain on My Parade?’ for me tonight?” “

” She then had her fan and her glasses, and she asked, “Did you sing ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ for me tonight?” Streisand.’ Streisand.

” And then she got up, and left. I’ve since met her. Menzel said that she has been completely gracious since then.” “But that night, it was a good question. Is that a good compliment? ‘”

Judging by the unimpressed expression on Barbra’s face in this clip, it was probably the best compliment anyone could receive. Then again, when’s the last time Barbra Streisand’s been impressed by anything?

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