“I'm devastated to say that due to early signs and symptoms of COVID and an inconclusive test result — due to the production's safety protocols I'm not allowed to perform for today's shows,” she shared on her Instagram Story on Sept. 10. “I will be testing again and will know more about tomorrow's performance soon. Julie is going to crush it today as Fanny — as are all of our amazing understudies who have stepped up so incredibly this week while we battle a very intense COVID outbreak in our theater.”
Michele’s initial Funny Girl performances were . While she has not technically performed the part on Broadway before, her Glee character Rachel Berry did. A plot line in the fifth season of the Fox musical saw Rachel plucked from her theater school to star in a revival of the show.
Funny Girl is hardly the first Broadway show to be hit with a COVID outbreak following its post-lockdown reopening in September of 2021. During the height of the Omicron wave at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022, to keep the show going on after stars were hit with bouts of illness. Other shows .
Michele, who faced controversy after on set, has previously spoken about taking over the role from Feldstein, who after stating that “the production decided to take the show in a different direction.” She told , “I saw the show. I wrote her and told her what an incredible job I thought that she did. I thought she was hilarious and beautiful and so wonderful. This is not an easy role, and she took it on with such bravery. And I wrote her and told her that."
Of the controversy surrounding Feldstein’s departure, Michele added, “I also think that people really love the excitement of pitting women against each other, which I think is really sad and unfortunate.”