On Tuesday’s episode of SiriusXM’s The Michelle Collins Show, Chris responded dubiously when the host invited him to catch that evening’s performance of Funny Girl.
“My day suddenly just got so full,” quipped the actor, best known for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on Glee. He went on to note that he’d checked out another hit musical, Six, on Broadway the previous night.
When the host pressed to see if Chris would make time to see Funny Girl during his visit to New York, the actor shot down the suggestion.
“No,” he replied. “I can be triggered at home.”
Listen to a clip of Chris Colfer on The Michelle Collins Show below…
Lea joined the cast of Funny Girl last month, replacing Beanie Feldstein in the starring role of Fanny Brice.
The casting change was, by all accounts, highly controversial. Beanie Feldstein’s performance was widely panned by critics after the musical opened in April, spurring questions about whether the Booksmart actor’s family connections helped land her the role. She exited the show in July amid reports of backstage tensions and declining ticket sales.
As for Lea, she’d been publicly vying to play Fanny Brice, a role long associated with Barbra Streisand, for years. She performed many of the musical’s most beloved songs – including Don’t Rain On My Parade and People – throughout her six-season run as Rachel Berry on Glee.
Her casting, however, drew criticism of a different sort. In 2020, the actor was at the centre of a social media firestorm when several of her Glee costars came forward with allegations of on-set bullying and prima donna behaviour. (Chris Colfer, notably, was not one of them.)
The most damning accusations came from Samantha Marie Ware, a Black actor who claimed that Michele had been responsible for “traumatic microaggressions” that had made her time on Glee a “living hell”.
After the allegations were levelled against her, Michele publicly apologised and has attempted to distance herself from the controversy in interviews since then. In September, she told The New York Times that the backlash had spurred an “intense time of reflection” and noted her intense working style “left me with a lot of blind spots.”
In contrast to Beanie Feldstein, Lea’s performance has drawn near-unanimous praise from critics. “Lea Michele is delivering a tour de force for the ages,” wrote The Los Angeles Times, while Entertainment Weekly gushed: “To put in plainly, she is simply spectacular.”