Lea Michele performs “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from Funny Girl at the 64th Annual Tony Awards.

Funny Girl gave me the opportunity to abandon questions of fairness and virtue and instead be a mean girl. Not Lea Michele mean, but mean enough to indulge in a $79 ticket—plus guzzle down a Diet Coke in a novelty cup a quarter of that price—to critique a person performing at a caliber I could only accomplish in lucid dreams, through professional turmoil I can’t fathom. It felt mean and awfully satisfying to be a hater, especially when a lot of reviewers, much smarter than me, had already paved the way. Oh! There’s that paradox I harped on Beanie for not capturing.


Lea Michele has been abrasive and, at times, threatening with how much she wants this role. It’s unsightly, that sort of ambition. That wanting is undeniable, and frankly, it’s the same wanting that propels the character of Fanny. That wanting makes her vulnerable, makes us ache and cheer when we see her pushed up against the boundaries of her fate. And that wanting is clearly resonating with folks in some way: The seat that I would have sat in, that I paid $79 for (and according to the usher “sucks”), is already selling for $479 on Lea’s opening week.