Lea Michele, 36, had another Glee visitor on the set of Funny Girl. Darren Criss, 35, and his wife Mia Criss visited his former co-star backstage on Broadway to witness the real-life Rachel Berry’s dream come true. The trio took an adorable picture together that Lea posted to Instagram. “The amount of times this guy has heard me sing Don’t Rain On My Parade 😂 I love you @darrencriss and @miavoncriss ❤️,” she captioned the shot.
Darren played Blaine Anderson, who was Kurt’s love interest from the Dalton Academy Warblers, in five seasons of Glee. He’s been close friends with Lea since the show wrapped in 2015. Darren is the third Glee alum to see Lea in Funny Girl, after Jonathan Groff and Becca Tobin. Jonathan was actually there opening night with Glee creator Ryan Murphy on Sept. 6, when Lea received multiple standing ovations.
In an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife, Jonathan revealed the words of encouragement that he gave to Lea on the morning of her Funny Girl debut. “I was texting that morning, I was driving up from Pennsylvania where I live, my mom and I were coming up to see her. And I said, ‘it feels like Christmas morning,’ ” Jonathan told us. “And we FaceTimed the night before, and I said, ‘it feels like Christmas Eve’, like when you’re in anticipation of the big day.”
Lea replaced Beanie Feldstein in Funny Girl. Fans know this has been a longtime dream of Lea’s Glee character Rachel Berry. Lea first sang “Parade” from Funny Girl on the Fox series in 2009 and was then invited to sing the song at the Tony Awards in 2010. In Glee‘s fifth season, writers helped Rachel’s dream come true when she moved to New York City to fight for the role of Fanny, which she ends up landing.
After Lea’s debut Funny Girl performance, the actress took to Instagram to thank all of her supporters and celebrate the evening. Lea wrote, “I want to say thank you whole heartedly for the support following my first performance on the broadway stage as Fanny Brice. I know I’ve said it before, but joining this cast has truly been the greatest honor.”