Summers at Stagedoor: 2000-2002
Memorable roles: “Pinball Wizard” soloist in The Who’s Tommy
You’d been in Les Miserables on Broadway as a kid, playing young Cosette. But then you came to Stagedoor in 2000—and you didn’t get a lead! Were you upset?
I’d also done Ragtime on Broadway. I went to school in New Jersey but was living in Manhattan. I was basically in Broadway shows from when I was eight years old on.
I didn’t expect them to automatically give me a lead role. I wasn’t like, “I’ve been on Broadway! Give me the lead!” I didn’t really care. I didn’t want the pressure of being a lead. I appreciated the normalcy of being in the camp.
Thank you to everyone who edited or made pictures or gifs that I may have used.
circa: August 29, 1986
Lea Michele Sarfati was born in the The Bronx New York
Mark Sarfati- Owner - Deli
Edith Sarfati- nurse
Lea Michele’s mother is Italian American and Roman Catholic, while her father is a Spanish Sephardic Jew. Her parent’s met each other when they are just 14 years old.
Lea was raised Catholic, but is unknown if she still practices the religion as an adult. She is an only child, but has mentioned a extended family with many cousins.
Lea and her family move to Tenafly NJ when she is four.
Lea attended Rockland County Day School for elementary school in New York. Unknown how long she attended this school
Pictures: At school and play with friends.
circa: March/April 1995 - Aug 1, 1996
On April 6, 1995 - Lea books her first job after her first audition.
At eight years old, Lea went with a friend to an open call for a musical. She decided on a whim she wanted to try out. She was offered the part and made her debut on Broadway in 1995 as a replacement in the role of Young Cosette in the New York City production of Les Misérables. Lea also played Young Eponnie and understudied Young Gavroche she never gets to be Gavroche though.
For her auditioned Lea sang Angel of Music from Phantom of the Opera acapella.
Lea performs on “The Sally Jesse Raphael Show” titled, “I’m A Kid & Already A Star!” She sings Castle on a Cloud from Les Miz.
In late August of 1996 Lea and her mother moved to Toronto Canada when Lea won the role of The Little Girl in a new Musical called Ragtime. The production would stay in Canada for one year before moving to Broadway.
Ragtime opened in Toronto on Dec 8, 1996.
picture: Lea (Little girl) and Peter Freeman (Tateh).
circa: May 2007
Lea at age 10 with Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchel and Peter Friedman appear in Vogue for Ragtime.
Lea provides voices for Buster and Chancey’s Silent Night an animated Movie. Probably 11 while doing the voice work.
January 1998 Ragtime moves to Broadway.
circa: Spring/Summer 1998
Lea does some press for Ragtime.
picture: Lea and Ragtime cast including Andra McDonald.
circa: Jan 1998
Lea and the company of Ragtime are featured in the PBS series, Great Performances..Creating Ragtime. The program is hosted by Whoopi Godlberg.
circa: June 1998
Lea performs for the first time at the Tony’s as part of the company of Ragtime which was nominated for best musical.
Lea is just 11 years old.
picture: Lea with Ragtime co-stars at the Tonys.
picture: Lea and Peter Freeman.
Lea was home schooled while performing Ragtime in Toronto. When the show moved to Broadway Lea attended Tenafly Middle School in Tenafly New Jersey.
While working on Broadway the family seems to have the home in NJ and a apartment in Manhattan probably to accommodate Lea’s schedule and lessen the commute.
In 1998, Lea, then 12, and her mother appeared in a documentary that was obtained by MTV’s “The Seven.”
Miscellaneous childhood pictures.
Lea’s Spring Awakening beginnings….
Lea first tries out for role of Wendla in the new musical Spring Awakening. Lea auditions with I don’t know how to love him and Opps I did it again, She wins the role and stars opposite Gavin Creel who is 10 years her senior.
They perform a workshop of the musical and Lea has her first stage kiss with Gavin. circa 2000.
Lea will do another workshop of Spring Awakening in summer 2001.
Spring Awakening was due to play at the Roundabout Theater of its 2002-2003 season but was canceled.
circa: April 2000
Lea appears on Third Watch as Sammi.
Lea is 13.
Lea Michele, attended Stagedoor Manor for three summers – and never landed a lead role in her time at the camp.
Read full interview
Lea enters Tenafly High School. Chooses not to work as much, so she can have a “normal” high school experience.
Lea reportedly has a long term high school boyfriend named Mike.
Lea does some musicals during school but opts out of choir. She felt the teacher did not like her.
Lea was on the volleyball team and was a champion debater.
circa; Dec. 2003 (12/1)
In her senior year of High School and at the age of 17, Lea wins her third role on Broadway as Shprintze (u/s Chava) one of the daughter’s in the revival of Fiddle on the Roof.
Lea and the company of Fiddle on the Roof begin rehearsals in December 2003.
circa: February 2004. (2/26/04)
Fiddle on the Roof Opening night is Feb 26, 2004.
Lea leaves Fiddler on the Roof in approx. October of 2005, she is 19 years old.
picture: Lea with Fiddle on the Roof co-star.
circa: April 2004 (4/26/04)
Lea and the company of Fiddler on the Roof record their cast album. It is Lea’s third show but first time on a cast recording.
picture: Lea and Fiddler sisters.
circa: April 2004
Lea performs for charity with the cast of Fiddler on the Roof in the most successful Easter Bonnet Competition ever, the 18th annual event raised a whopping $3,420,537 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The casts of Avenue Q and Fiddler on the Roof, who joined forces for the afternoon’s award winning bonnet presentation, provided the funniest moments.
Lea wore the award winning Bonnet …
picture: Lea accepting the award for Best Easter Bonnet.
circa: June 2004.
Lea performs at the Tony’s for the second time as part of the company of Fiddler on the Roof, which is nominated for best musical revival.
circa: June 2004
Lea graduates from High School, she is 17 and working on Broadway.
Message from her parents in her yearbook:
“Dear Lea, we know you don’t want this message to be serious, but seriously you are the best of our lives. We are amazed with all you have accomplished so far in your life. College will be another great experience for you and as always we wish you all your heart desires.
Love, Mom and Dad.”
- Tenafly High School Yearbook 2004.
Lea takes a vacation after graduation to the British Isle.
Also reportedly she moves to Manhattan full time.
Miscellaneous teen pictures.
circa: Sept 2004 (9/19/04)
Lea attends The 18th Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction.
circa: February 2005
Lea performs a concert of Spring Awakening at Lincoln Center in New York.
Director Mayer steers the concert staging with a firm hand, drawing surprisingly textured performances from the 13 talented kids in the ensemble, most of them close to the age they’re portraying. Especially notable are John Gallagher Jr. as troubled Moritz; Ben Walker, a handsome, confident presence as Melchior, who shows far more soul than his status as the popular boy would imply; and the sweet-voiced Lea Michele, a star in the making as Wendla.
This is Lea’s third time as Wendla. The fourth time getting the role, one production canceled..
circa: November - December 2005
Lea decides to leave Fiddler on the Roof to take the title role in the Round House Theater production of The Diary of Anne Frank.
* While working on Anne Frank Lea gets word that Spring Awakening is back up and looking to cast again. Lea once again decides to try for Wendla.
circa: Winter 2005/Spring 2006
Complete casting has been announced for the Atlantic Theater Company world premiere of Spring Awakening. The musical will feature Frank Wood, Mary McCann, John Gallagher Jr., Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele.
Lea Michele begins rehearsals for Spring Awakening, finally a full production of the show will happen off Broadway at the Atlantic theater. She has been working on SA for 6 years now. Lea is 19 years old.
Lea meets Jonathan Groff in December 2005, they became Best Friends.
picture: Lea, Jonathan Groff and John Gallagher Jr.
circa: Jan 2006 (1/12/06)
circa: June 2006-August 2006 (6/15/06)
Spring Awakening opens off Broadway at the Atlantic Theater.
The production was scheduled to go from May to July 6th. In June the production was extended until August 6, 2006.
Mid July it is announced Spring Awakening will go to Broadway.
Lea is 19.
picture: Jon Groff, Lea and John Gallagher - Opening Night Spring Awakening - Off Broadway
circa: summer 2006
Lea’s dream role was Eponine in Les Miz, she even audition as a teen for the touring company but was told her voice was not ready. When a revival was announced Lea is now almost 20 auditioned and was offered and agreed to do the part.
But around the same time Spring Awakening was going to Broadway… Lea agonized over the decision, but since she was so committed to SA she gave up the chance to play Eponine.
Lea Time Line
circa: Sept 2006
Lea cast as Naleen
Hot and Sweet, a new musical about an all-girl 1940’s big band to be produced at the New York Musical Theater Festival.
Performances will take place Sept. 21-30 at the Theater at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th Street
Lea does other workshops but dates are unknown.
Samson and Delilah as Delilah
Wuthering Heights as Lucy
circa: Sept 2006 (9/10/06)
Lea attends Opening Night Back-to-NYMF Pep Rally.
circa: Sept 2006 (9/13/06)
Lea performs at a discussion on the creation and production of Spring Awakening.
circa: Sept 2006 (9/24/06)
Lea and Jon Groff attends the Broadway Flea Market, a charity event.
circa: Oct 2008
Lea and the company of Spring Awakening do a preview of the musical before it open in less then 2 months.
picture: Lea and the company of Spring Awakening.
circa: Dec 2006
Lea is feature in Interview Magazine’s Dec 2006/Jan 2007 Issue. It is her first shoot for Spring Awakening according to a tweet years later.
circa: Dec 2006 (12/10/06)
After several weeks of previews Spring Awakening premiers on Broadway on Dec 10, 2006 at the Eugene O’Neil Theater.
Lea is now 20 and is in her fourth musical on Broadway, now as a lead.
picture: Lea and Jon Opening Night on Broadway.
Lea and Spring Awakening cast celebrate Opening Night.
circa: 2006-2008 (dates unknown)
Lea dates Landon Beard.
I’ve never heard you talk much about Landon Beard, your actor boyfriend. The two of you have been together for more than a year.
[Smiling] I feel very lucky to have such a great boyfriend who’s so wonderful.
Best guess they broke up May/June of 2008, near when Lea left for California.
Lea appears in an Issue of Glamour, unknown which month.
circa: Jan 2007
Spring Awakening cast album goes on sale the album in Jan 2008 will win a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, Original Broadway Cast, including Lea Michele.
This is the second cast album for Lea but the first with solo work.
picture: Lea and Micheal Mayer sign SA CDs at Virgin Mega Store in NYC.
circa: Jan 2007 ( 1/10/07)
Lea and the company of Spring Awakening perform on the NY affiliate CW news.
Circa: Feb 2007
Lea and the cast of Spring Awakening perform on The View.
circa: Feb 2007
Lea, Jon Groff, John Gallagher and John B. Wright appear in Teen Vogue.
circa: March 2007 (3/1/07)
Lea attends the 2nd anniversary party Altar Boyz, a musical in which her than boyfriend Landon Beard starred.
circa: April 30 2007
The cast of Spring Awakening and Degrassi discuss teen issues.
picture: SA Girls perform Mama who Bore Me.
circa: May 2007
Lea and the cast of Siring Awakening in NY Magazine.
1. Lea Michele
Plays Wendla, the female lead, star-crossed lover of Melchior.
Will be 21 in August. Raised in New York. Has been with the show for seven years—“since the start.” You may have also spotted her in Les Misérables, Ragtime, or Fiddler on the Roof. On the sex onstage: “To see kids in the audience that are the same age as we are still shocked by some of the stuff we do just goes to show that there’s something that’s going to affect everyone.” That diamond ring on her finger: “No, no, no. Not engaged. This is my mother’s ring. It’s three stones—for me, my mom, and my dad—and it reminds me of them when I’m here.” On her iPod: “Ms. Dolly. I’m such a dork, but I love Dolly Parton and I’m proud of it.
circa: May 2007 (5/1/07)
Lea attends the Drama Desk Cocktail reception, Lea is nominated as Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
circa: May 2007 (5/7/07)
Lea and Spring Awakening Cast perform at the 22nd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards.
circa: May 2007 (5/11/07)
Lea attends the 73rd Annual Drama League Awards.
circa: May 2007 (5/15/07)
Lea attends the 2007 New York Drama Critics Circle Awards with Jon Groff and Micheal Mayer.
circa: May 2007
Lea Michele wins two Broadway.com Audience Awards:
Favorite Female Breakthrough Performance.
Favorite on stage pair with Jon Groff.
circa: May 2007 (5/20/07)
Lea and the cast of Spring Awakening perform at the Drama Desk Awards.
Lea is nominated for Drama Desk Award- Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
circa: May 2007
Lea attends the 52nd Annual Drama Desk Awards After Party
circa: June 2007 (6/6/07)
great interview with Lea!!!
Six Degrees of Broadway World debuts on BWW TV: Richard Jay-Alexander interviews Spring Awakening’s Lea Michele (TV Content)
On Wednesday, June 6th before a matinee, producer/director Richard Jay-Alexander interviewed Spring Awakening’s breakout star - Lea Michele, 4 days before the TONY Awards and its fateful sweep as Best Musical for the 2006/2007 theater season.
circa: June 2007
Lea and Jon Groff perform on the CBS Early Show.
circa: June 2007 (6/10/07)
Lea performs at the Tony’s for the third time with the company of Spring Awakening which is nominated for 11 awards.
It wins 8 awards including Best Musical.
Lea however is overlooked for a nomination, being put in the wrong category.
on not getting nomination: http://www.broadway.com/buzz/141771/qa-lea-michele/
Tony performance http://youtu.be/L_Bl9NIBvY8
circa: June 2007 (6/15/07)
Lea Michele (Wendla) Jonathan Groff (Melchior), John Gallagher Jr, (Moritz) and Duncan Sheik (Composer) appear on Seth Rudetsky’s Studio Cabaret.
circa: June 2007 (6/27/07)
Spring Awakening Unveils New Billboard.
circa: July 2007 (7/14/07)
Lea takes part in Broadway Barks. A event to help animals get adopted.
circa: Aug. 2007 (8/3/07)
Lea attends the unveiling the Spring Awakening painting that is now a part of the Wall of Fame at Tony’s Di Napoli Restaurant.
circa: Aug 2007
Lea and the company of Spring Awakening do Broadway in Bryant Park.
circa: August 2007
Lea celebrates her 21st birthday (8/29) with friends, such as Jon Groff, John Gallagher, Remy Zaken, Krysta Rodriguez and Matt Morrison.
circa: Sept. 2007
Lea Michele on Seth’s Rudetsky Chatterbox in September 2007.
circa: Sept 2007 (9/23/07)
Lea attends the 21st Annual Broadway Flea Market a charity event.
circa: Sept 2007
“The After Party,” billed as “an informal social gathering for the theatrically inclined,” will welcome Spring Awakening’s Lea Michele Sept. 21.
circa: Oct 2007 (10/8/07)
Michele lent her talents and expertise by teaching a song interpretation class focusing on pop and contemporary musical theater to a group of eager young stars to be, ages 12-20
Oct. 2007 (10/7&8/07)
Lea performs a reading of a new musical called The Gypsy King for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. Lea plays Anisette.
circa: Nov. 2007
Lea performs at Broadway loves the 80’s. She sings I Love Rock and Roll.
circa: Nov. 2007 (11/22/07)
Lea and Jon perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. They perform Give my Regards to Broadway.
Nov: 2007 (11/20/07)
Lea and Jon perform in Broadway is Back to celebrate the end of a strike.
circa: Nov. 2007
Lea visits Jon in LA. Jon Groff was on leave from Spring Awakening when the strike began. He was in LA to film a pilot for Ryan Murphy. Lea got bored while on strike and went to visit Jon. While there Lea mets Ryan and producer Dante Di Lorento. They had dinner and discussed Barbra, musicals and glee. Ryan was interested in doing glee if his pilot Pretty Handsome did not work out. Lea does not see Ryan until Aug. 2008, at a glee audition. Lea later learns Ryan had her in mind when he wrote Rachel Berry.
circa: Nov 2007
Lea and the company of Spring Awakening appear in The Gap’s Holiday ads including a Billboard in Times Square. Lea’s first Billboard.
circa: Dec 2007 (12/3/07)
Lea and SA friends attend the opening of Sweeney Todd on Broadway. Pictured, Phoebe Strole, Jon Groff, John Gallagher Jr..
circa: Dec. 2007
Spring Awakening Stars Party on First Anniversary.
circa: Dec 2007
Lea, Jon and John participate in a round table discussion group.
circa: Jan 2008
In 2008, Michele performed at a benefit concert, “Alive in the World”, to aid the Twin Tower Orphan Fund.
Radio interview with Lea about Alive in the World
circa: Jan 2008 (1/28/08)
Lea attends a parody program called of Spring Awakening call Rude Awakenings.
circa; Feb 2008
Lea talks Valentine Day with Broadway.com Video: http://youtu.be/7629GT5tYBE
circa: Feb. 25th, April 7th, June 16, 2008
Lea does a one woman show Once upon a Dream at Feinstein’s at the Regency.
circa: April 2008
Lea performs with then boyfriend Landon Beard at FLOPZ n’ CUTZ 4 a showcase where singers perform songs from more obscure musicals Proceeds to benefit Animal Haven, A No-Kill Animal Shelter, Adoption Center, and Sanctuary.
circa: April 2008
Lea performs with the cast of Spring Awakening/Grease in the Easter Bonnet competition for the charity Broadway Cares.
Lea and Jon introduce the company of RENT at the Easter Bonnet Competition
circa: April 2008
Lea and the company of Spring Awakening perform at Macy’s for Prom Fashions.
circa: May 2008
Lea Michele speak out against Horse drawn carriages.
circa: May 18, 2008
After nine years, 2 workshops, 1 canceled production, 1 concert, a 2 1/2 month off Broadway run and 18 months on Broadway Lea performs her last show for Spring Awakening.
estimated 650+ performances.
Jon gives Lea’s hand a little kiss and they leave the stage for the last time.
June 2008 (6/6/08)
Lea speaks as ArtSpeak! A program that brings Broadway actor to Poe Middle School in DC, to discuss theater.
circa: July 2008
Lea is cast in a workshop of a new musical by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik
The musical exploration of the Roman emperor with a flair for the theatrical casts Taboo’s Jeffrey Carlson in the title role with Spring Awakening veteran Lea Michele as Nero’s mute wife and step-sister Octavia, and Tony-Award winning actress Idina Menzel as his lover, Poppea. Performances continue through July 11-13.
Lea sings Beauty Boy
Lea as Octavia, mute girl in a loveless marriage.
Lea narrated a documentary type show on traveling in your own city. The pilot is called Around the Block. Lea wins the New York Television Award for Non scripted Host.
“Transported to another world through one city block, blogger and travel junkie, Lea Michele prepares to attend a traditional Indian wedding. A Dolce films TV pilot and award winner at the New York Television Festival 2009.”
I think Lea probably did this in 2008 and it was presented to the film festive in 2009.
More pictures for the documentary.