The actress, 36, has received widespread acclaim for her work as Fanny Brice in the “Funny Girl” revival, but she isn’t eligible to be nominated for the prestigious honor due to having joined the show months after it premiered.
Tony requirements state that an actor must perform their role on the production’s opening night and appear in a required minimum number of performances for which invitations and tickets are made available to voters.
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Lea took over the iconic “Funny Girl” character last September after original star Beanie Feldstein departed the show early. The “Glee” alum was aware that replacing Beanie meant she couldn’t be submitted for Tony consideration, but she told the New York Times ahead of her first performance that the opportunity itself was more than worth it.
“You might think that’s the biggest piece of bulls*** that I’m going to say to you all day, but I really don’t care about that at this point. It’s just about being able to play this part,” she told the paper at the time.
Lea made her Broadway debut as young Cosette in Les Misérables at just 8 years old, and she went on to appear alongside Audra McDonald in “Ragtime” and Alfred Molina in “Fiddler on the Roof.” She found her breakthrough role in 2006’s “Spring Awakening,” which co-starred Lea’s bestie and eventual “Glee” castmate Jonathan Groff.
The 76th Tony Awards will take place this Sunday, June 11 at the United Palace in New York City.
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