Playbill Poll: What Should Lea Michele's Next Broadway Musical Role Be? Readers Respond

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15 Sep 2013

Lea Michele
Lea Michele

Last week "Glee" shared a teaser image of Spring Awakening actress Lea Michele on the corner of 44th Street in Times Square, in front of a fake marquee for a Broadway revival of Funny Girl. With the potential for Rachel Berry's Broadway dreams to come true on "Glee," Playbill.com wondered: What role would you like to see Michele play on Broadway?

Playbill.com polled our readers via Facebook asking which them to share their choices for roles they'd like to see Michele tackle in her Broadway return.

Here are some reader responses followed by our own commentary.

Sean Patrick Brennan: Elphaba
Kimmy Ortiz: Elphaba in Wicked! She'd be AMAZING! Plus she's already sung 2 of the biggest songs from the show on Glee so that's a plus.
Charla Williams: She seems born to play Elphaba in Wicked.

Michele is also among our readers' picks for who they'd like to see play Elphaba in a film adaptation of Wicked – the musical that explores untold story of the Witches of Oz. The hit musical by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman is about to celebrate its tenth anniversary on Broadway in October. Read our readers' picks for Elphaba here.

Diana Puertas: While I love Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber in Newsies, I would love to see Lea tackle the role. I think she has the comedic timing for the role.

Kara Lindsay originated the role of spunky reporter Katherine Plumber – who sings the driving patter song "Watch What Happens" – in the Tony-winning Disney musical that opened on Broadway in 2012. Based on the 1992 Disney film, Newsies is the tale of newsboy Jack Kelly, who dreams of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. Katherine helps Jack "Seize the Day."

Nathan Bottorff: Why not have her play Fanny Brice on Broadway? She would breathe new life into a Funny Girl revival!
Hunter K. Taylor: I would love to see her as Fanny Brice in a revival of Funny Girl. Her voice is impeccable, and I really think she is the only fit replacement for Barbara Streisand.
Jeff Gentner: Lea is probably too beautiful to play Fanny Brice, but having always thought that NO ONE could duplicate Barbra Streisand, Lea has shown us that, YES, it could happen!

Funny Girl hasn't returned to Broadway since its original 1964 run. The Jule Styne-Bob Merrill-Isobel Lennart musical made a star out of Barbra Streisand. A 2012 revival of Funny Girl, which was to star Lauren Ambrose, was postponed indefinitely. Check out our list of actresses we'd like to see play Fanny.

Robert James Seale III: Velma in Chicago. She would be great for the show!!!

The Tony-winning revival of Kander and Ebb's Fosse-kissed musical about merry murderesses is going strong after returning to Broadway in 1996. Velma belts out several numbers in the show, including "All That Jazz," "My Own Best Friend" and "I Can't Do It Alone."

Michael Levine: I'd love to see a revival of Applause, the musical adaptation of All About Eve. Lea Michele as Eve Harrington and Idina Menzel as Margo Channing, the older star she's trying to replace.

Featuring a score by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, and a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Applause won the 1970 Tony Award for Best Musical. The original production starred Penny Fuller as Eve Harrington and Lauren Bacall as Margo Channing. It has never had a major Broadway revival.

Jenna Leigh Green and John Hill in Bare.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Chiara Johnpeter: Ivy in Bare the musical

Jon Hartmere and the late Damon Intrabartolo's musical had a 2000 Los Angeles premiere. Following the Los Angeles production, Bare began an Off-Broadway run at the American Theatre of Actors (Chernuchin Theatre) March 25, 2004. A re-imagined version of Bare returned Off-Broadway in December 2012.

S Patrick Nugent: I'd like to see how she would do in Sweet Charity!

The musical by Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields and Neil Simon first premiered in 1966 at the Palace Theatre. Gwen Verdon originated the role of world-weary New York taxi dancer Charity. The musical includes such songs as "Big Spender," "If They Could See Me Now," "I'm a Brass Band" and "I Love to Cry At Weddings." It has been revived in 1986 and 2005.

Callaghan Mayer: Mabel in Mack and Mabel

The short-lived Jerry Herman musical premiered at the Majestic Theatre in 1974. Bernadette Peters originated the role of Mabel in the tuneful work that features such songs as "Time Heals Everything," "Tap Your Troubles Away," "Wherever He Ain't" and "I Won't Send Roses."

Bailey Ford: What about Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes?

Anything Goes was most recently revived to Tony-winning acclaim in 2011 by the Roundabout Theatre Company. Hope Harcourt, one of the romantic leads in the Cole Porter musical, performs "Easy to Love," "Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye" and "All Through the Night."

Gwion Jones: Cinderella in Rodger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella
Alecohanian1: Cinderella?

Laura Osnes earned her second Tony Award nomination for creating the role of Cinderella in the Broadway premiere of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. It premiered on television in 1957, and finally made its Broadway debut in 2012.

Marissa D: Maggie Winslow in A Chorus Line

A Chorus Line premiered to Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning acclaim in 1975 at the Shubert Theatre. Maggie is part of the "At the Ballet" trio in the musical created by the late Michael Bennett, which has a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban. It was last revived on Broadway in 2006.

hannahb1533: ever since she did the songs on Glee I want her as Maria in a West Side Story revival PLEASE!

Late book writer Arthur Laurents helmed the last revival of the musical based on Romeo and Juliet, which played the Palace Theatre in 2009. Featuring a score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story premiered in 1957. Among the songs in the classic are "Tonight," "Somewhere," "A Boy Like That" and "Something's Coming."

rafaelpreyes: Off the bat. The Rink, in the Liza Minnelli role. She'd nail the big emotions of the role. The mother? Michelle Lee.

Kander and Ebb's dark musical about an Italian housewife who runs a roller-skating rink on the Eastern seaboard premiered on Broadway in 1984. She prepares to abandon it until her estranged daughter returns after a long absence, hoping to save the rink and patch things up with her mother. The original starred Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera. Standout songs in the score include "Colored Lights," "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer," "We Can Make It" and "Marry Me."

FivePointsWoman: Octavia in "Nero" if Sater and Sheik get it to Broadway. She was great in the role in a reading back in '08.

Michele rose to Broadway stardom in the Steven Sater-Duncan Sheik musical Spring Awakening, which premiere Off-Broadway in 2006 at the Atlantic Theater Company prior to a Tony Award-winning Broadway run later that year. Nero, which has been in development for several years, was workshopped at the Powerhouse Theater in 2008. Michele and Idina Menzel were among the cast of them musical exploration of the Roman emperor with a flair for the theatrical.