Lea Michele's Parade At 'Funny Girl'

Lea Michele was 21 when she first saw “Funny Girl.” She was starring on Broadway in “Spring Awakening,” but all was not well in her personal life.

“I had just gone through a horrible breakup," she recalls. “I didn’t care what was happening for me in my career. I was so heartbroken, couldn’t believe that I had to pick myself up & go on stage.”

Michael Mayer, her “Spring Awakening” director, noticed a forlorn Michele and prescribed a special theater cure:

a big dose of Barbra Streisand as vaudeville comedian Fanny Brice in the movie musical “Funny Girl.” It was the story of a woman refusing to let a man drag her down.

That did the trick: “I fell in love with it. And I fell in love with the story and I fell in love with the music. 

And, of course, Barbra.” Michele would go on to star in “Glee,” where she would sing songs from “Funny Girl” and also serenaded Streisand at a tribute with a “Funny Girl” song.

Michele finds herself stepping into the role Streisand made famous by taking over the role of Fanny from Beanie Feldstein in the show's first revival on Broadway, with Mayer again her director.