Lea Michele had the opportunity to live out a dream on Thursday when she opened the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade singing, fittingly, her rafter-raising rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”
The “Glee” star, who is currently starring on Broadway as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” and shown above rehearsing for her parade performance, kicked off the festivities with the musical theater classic first made famous by Barbra Streisand (and originated in this Broadway revival by Beanie Feldstein).
Despite Michele’s demands to not rain on her parade, some on social media still tried to do just that.
“No way the thanksgiving day parade began with lea michele jumpscare,” one user tweeted with a crying emoji.
Another questioned why the Thanksgiving Day Parade didn’t give a “trigger warning” when Michele began singing, while another shared a meme of Mateo of NBC comedy “Super Store” signing a cross over his chest, as if to pray.
no way the thanksgiving day parade began with lea michele jumpscare
︎︎ (@believeagainpie) November 24, 2022
Omg Thanksgiving Day Parade where was the trigger warning for Lea Michele
— alyssa mercante (@alyssa_merc) November 24, 2022
— Chelsea Tatham Zukowski (@ChelseaTatham) November 24, 2022
Uproxx and Vulture writer Carrie Wittmer joked that Michele might be “the only person in history happy to be at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade,” nodding to the wintry, early morning event’s less-than-ideal demands on its performers.
Lea Michele the only person in history happy to be at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
— Carrie Wittmer
(@carriesnotscary) November 24, 2022
Others took the opportunity to feed into the running social media joke that Michele can’t read.
Lea Michele leading the #MacysParade when she can’t read street signs? Bold
— Justin Kirkland (@justinkirkland4) November 24, 2022
wild choice to have Lea Michele chased by her biggest fear: letters pic.twitter.com/eR6GhNqAqv
— Bill Bria (@billbria) November 24, 2022
Still, many ran to the talent’s defense online, leaving jokes aside and celebrating Michele’s show-stopping gusto.
“No matter what else can be said about her, you just can’t play down or ignore Lea Michele’s talent,” tweeted media writers Tom and Lorenzo. Another user memed a TV still of Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel on “Glee”: “She may be difficult, but boy, can she sing,” it read.
No matter what else can be said about her, you just can't play down or ignore Lea Michele's talent#MacysParade
— Tom and Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) November 24, 2022
Watching Lea Michele on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade pic.twitter.com/Ps9oWjLZin
— kt the holiday queen
(@katiekins93) November 24, 2022
— Andrea (@ilove_shoes) November 24, 2022
“Anyone else super proud of Rachel Berry for achieving her Funny Girl dreams?,” a supportive fan added.
Michele has been vocal since her days playing Rachel Berry on “Glee” that she dreams of playing Fanny Brice, and her success on Broadway today is viewed by many as a long-game success story.
— Elizabeth Alder (@lizzcornett) November 24, 2022
In addition to Michele and the cast of “Funny Girl”, the parade featured performances from Broadway’s “A Beautiful Noise,” “Some Like It Hot” and “The Lion King.”
Participating stars included Paula Abdul; Big Time Rush; Cam; Jordan Davis; “Blue’s Clues & You!” host Josh Dela Cruz; Gloria, Sasha and Emily Estefan; Jimmy Fallon and The Roots; Fitz and the Tantrums; Kirk Franklin; Mario Lopez and family; Ziggy Marley; Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles; the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street; Sean Paul; the cast of Peacock’s “Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” (Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg); Joss Stone; Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue; Jordin Sparks; Dionne Warwick; and Betty Who.
Official video of Michele’s performance is not yet available online, but to scratch your “Funny Girl” itch, you can watch her sing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” on ABC’s “Good Morning America” below.