Lea Michele pauses 'Funny Girl' run after testing positive for coronavirus

·2 min read
A woman in a sparkly red dress with fringe pressing her hands to her chest on a stage
Lea Michele takes her first curtain call Tuesday as Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl" on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre in New York City. (Bruce Glikas / WireImage)

Days after taking her first bow as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of "Funny Girl," Lea Michele has taken a pause from the role amid "a very intense COVID outbreak" at the August Wilson Theatre.

On Saturday, the "Glee" alum announced she had "officially tested positive" for the coronavirus after receiving an "inconclusive" test result earlier that day. According to "production protocol," Michele will remain benched for 10 days after missing both of Saturday's performances.

"Thankfully staying home today and catching this early protected so many members of our company from being exposed," Michele said in a statement shared on her Instagram Story.

"Funny Girl has been and still is taking a tremendous wave of COVID with close to a dozen company members currently out. We are almost on the other side of this and our swings and understudies are doing such an incredible job to keep our show on its feet. This week has been a dream come true and I cannot wait to get back — you better get ready. See you soon."

A message on the "Funny Girl" website confirms that Michele will return to the stage as the Jewish vaudeville legend Sept. 20. Until then, her understudy, Julie Benko, will assume the role of Fanny. Those who already paid to see Michele perform this month have the option to exchange their tickets.

Other cast members sidelined as of Saturday include Debra Cardona (Mrs. Meeker), Toni DiBuono (Mrs. Strakosh), Peter Francis James (Ziegfeld), Martin Moran (Keeney), Ephie Aardema (Emma/Mrs. Nadler), Amber Ardolino (Vera/Ensemble), Stephen Mark Lukas (Renaldi/Ensemble/Paul), John Manzari (RTT Man/Ensemble) and Justin Prescott (Cornet Man/Ensemble).

On Tuesday, Michele made her "Funny Girl" debut at the August Wilson Theatre, where she received six standing ovations. According to Variety, the show was attended by "Glee" co-creator Ryan Murphy, as well as Michele's former "Spring Awakening" costar Jonathan Groff.

In July, Michele was tapped to replace Beanie Feldstein in "Funny Girl" after the "Booksmart" star revealed she would be exiting the production "sooner than anticipated" due to creative differences.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.