Michele had long been discussed as an option for a “Funny Girl” revival, but the show’s director, Michael Mayer, who has directed Michele in “Spring Awakening,” said last year that he had sensed that she was not ready to return to work after the birth of her child. The actress Beanie Feldstein was cast in the role, but she drew middling reviews when the show opened in spring 2022. It received one Tony nomination, for Jared Grimes, who portrays Brice’s dance coach and sidekick.
When Feldstein bowed out of the show earlier than expected, Michele was tapped to replace her, fueling a flood of press attention, social media debate and, once she made her debut, rave reviews that bolstered ticket sales. A tour, featuring Katerina McCrimmon, starts on Saturday in Providence, R.I.
With “Funny Girl,” Michele made her first appearance in a Broadway cast in 15 years. She has indicated that the next gap won’t be so significant. The actress told Variety that she has already booked her next job, hinting that it is a show she expects people will recognize, but that is very different from the one that drew her back to Broadway.