On Her Own: Lea Michele Exits Les Miz for Another Awakening

News   On Her Own: Lea Michele Exits Les Miz for Another Awakening
 
Lea Michele, the rising young actress who played the troubled teen Wendla in the Off-Broadway world premiere of the musical Spring Awakening earlier this year, has withdrawn from the upcoming Broadway return of Les Misérables, Playbill.com has learned.

Lea Michele
Lea Michele Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Michele was to play yearning Eponine in the revival of Les Miz, which begins Oct. 24, but is expected to reprise Wendla in Spring Awakening when it moves to Broadway in 2006-07.

No theatre or dates have yet been announced for the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater coming-of-age musical inspired by the expressionist play by Frank Wedekind. Jonathan Groff, who played Melchior, Wendla's anxious love interest in Spring Awakening, recently withdrew from Paper Mill Playhouse's fall Godspell, indicating rehearsals for Spring Awakening will begin in the fall.

(The producers of Spring Awakening, including Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce, have not officially announced casting for the Broadway run, but members of director Michael Mayer's Off-Broadway cast are expected to re-populate the show.)

Auditions for the role of Eponine are being scheduled in the next week.

Lea Michele appeared as the Little Girl in Ragtime in Canada and on Broadway, as Young Cosette in Broadway's Les Miserables and as Tevye's daughter Sphritze in the recent Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof.

Jonathan Groff made his Broadway debut in the short-lived musical In My Life. He played Rolf in the national tour of The Sound of Music and was seen in the North Shore Music Theatre's production of Fame as well as in shows at the Fulton Opera and EPAC.

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Spring Awakening ended its much-extended run at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company Aug. 5.

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