Lea Michele belts Fanny Brice’s big opening number, “I’m the Greatest Star,” from the forthcoming original cast recording for the new Broadway revival of Funny Girl.
As Michele tells Rolling Stone, “I’m the Greatest Star” “sets the tone” for Funny Girl, capturing Fanny as she lays out her showbiz dreams after being told in not-exactly-subtle terms on “If a Girl Isn’t Pretty” that she doesn’t have the looks for it. “I’m the greatest star,” Michele bellows, “I am by far/But no one knows it/That’s why I was born/I’ll blow my horn/Till someone blows it.”
“I relate so much to Fanny’s drive and ambition as it’s something I felt my entire life, and I connect to everything she says throughout this song,” Michele says. “This is our moment in the show where everyone gets on board and begins rooting for this young girl to achieve all of her dreams. She knows she is the greatest star, now they know she’s the greatest star, and then soon the whole world will know.”
Michele was tapped to play Fanny Brice in Funny Girl back in July, ultimately taking over the role from Beanie Feldstein in September. The casting choice caused plenty of online chatter, especially considering Michele’s Glee character, Rachel Berry, dreams of — and earns — the same role on the show.
Michele herself calls playing Fanny “a dream come true,” adding, “This is one of the most challenging roles I’ve ever played, but it is also the most joyful and exciting experience I’ve ever had in my career.”
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The original cast recording of the Funny Girl revival will be released digitally tomorrow, Nov. 18, with a CD version scheduled to drop on Jan. 20, 2023. Along with Michele, the album (and show) currently features Ramin Karimloo as Nick Arnstein, Jared Grimes as Eddie Ryan, and Tovah Feldshuh as Mrs. Rosie Brice.
When the full album drops, fans will be able to hear Michele’s rendition of another one of her favorite songs, “Who Are You Now,” which she sings with Karimloo. “He is such an incredible singer and to get to join our voices together with this incredible song is a real thrill for me each day,” Michele says.