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Lea Michele kicks off tour and tells heartfelt story behind the one Glee episode she’s never watched

Lea Michele started her short series of summer shows called An Evening With Lea Michele: Life In Music.

The singer and actress will take the stage for her first performance of the tour at the City Winery in Washington, DC, on Wednesday evening, July 20.

The show was the first of six shows she’s in City Winery locations across the US this summer ahead of her highly anticipated return to Broadway to play the lead role of Fannie Brice in Funny Girl.

Tour In Progress: Lea Michele, 35, kicked off her An Evening With Lea Michele: Life In Music mini-tour in Washington, DC on Wednesday, July 20;  she shot at the NYC show in 2017

Tour In Progress: Lea Michele, 35, kicked off her An Evening With Lea Michele: Life In Music mini-tour in Washington, DC on Wednesday, July 20; she shot at the NYC show in 2017

Michele, 35, released songs instrumental to her career during her first show at the Nation’s Capital.

The set list included music from Broadway shows Spring Awakening and Les Miserables, as well as from her stint on the hit musical series Glee, and her original studio albums.

She wowed audiences with renditions of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables, Mama Who Bore Me from Spring Awakening, her original song Cannonball, Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Sweet Child Of Mine from her new lullaby album Forever, and Glee covers including Poker Face , Glitter in the air and make you feel my love.

During the introduction to Make You Feel My Love, Michele shared a touching story about the one episode of Glee she’s never seen that’s close to her heart.

That episode, titled The Quarterback, is the real one which is about the death of her former boyfriend and co-star Cory Monteith and his character Finn Hudson.

City Winery Shows: The Glee alum hosts six summer shows at City Winery locations before taking on the role of Fannie Brice in the Broadway show Funny Girl

City Winery Shows: The Glee alum hosts six summer shows at City Winery locations before taking on the role of Fannie Brice in the Broadway show Funny Girl

The tour: Michele sings songs instrumental to her career for this short tour

The tour: Michele sings songs instrumental to her career for this short tour

It turns out that Glee creator Ryan Murphy asked Michele to choose the song she would sing in Finn’s honor.

“How can I pick a song that says it all, you know? And so I just thought, ‘What could it be?’ I don’t even remember what I was listening to then. Like, nothing. I was just in such a hole,” she shared with genuine emotion.

She continued: “And I’m grateful he asked me. It’s really, really. Because it had to be something that felt real to me, but it was also so hard to imagine what song it could be. And then I immediately thought, “Oh, that’s it.” I think we might have listened to the song once because I know when Rachel on the show says we’d listen to it and it’s real. ‘Cause a lot of what I say in that episode, a lot of what I say to [Matthew Morrison]”The character in that classroom were exact words I said to Ryan after all.”

Michele confessed that filming the episode was “very difficult.”

“I would film it and then run away and then I would come back. It was wild and hard, but we healed together and this song helped.’

She concluded, “I’ve never seen the episode. It’s the only one I haven’t seen. Because I think if I’m not looking at it, it feels like Finn is still there. So this [song] is very special.’

Emotional: During the introduction to Make You Feel My Love, Michele told a touching story about the one episode of Glee she's never seen, titled The Quarterback, which chronicled the death of her former boyfriend and co-star Cory Monteith and his character. Finn Hudson treats.

Emotional: During the introduction to Make You Feel My Love, Michele told a touching story about the one episode of Glee she’s never seen, titled The Quarterback, which chronicled the death of her former boyfriend and co-star Cory Monteith and his character. Finn Hudson treats.

Old Flame: Monteith and Michele were an item before his tragic death in July 2013

Old Flame: Monteith and Michele were an item before his tragic death in July 2013

The Bronx, a New York native, capped off the show fittingly with her version of My Man from the movie Funny Girl.

The song, which was not featured on the Broadway show, will not be on the set list when she takes over the Fanny Brice role on Broadway in September.

“Since I can’t do it every night on Broadway, I want to sing it for all of you tonight. Here’s a little Fanny Brice and I’ll see you on September 6,” she told the crowd Wednesday at the City Winery.

The next stop of the tour will take Michele to the City Winery in Philadelphia on Friday, July 22.

The remaining four shows will take place in Boston (July 24), Chicago (August 14), Atlanta (August 16) and Nashville (August 17).

Beanie Feldstein’s final appearance as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl is on July 31.

Julie Benko, who had served as an understudy, will take over the role from August 1 to September 4, and then Lea Michele will take over two days later on September 6.

The semi-biographical plot is based on the life and career of Broadway star, film actress and comedian Fanny Brice, with her tempestuous relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein.

Funny Girl opened on April 24 at the August Wilson Theater on Broadway and is currently open ended.

Broadway Bound: Michele Takes on the Role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway September 6

Broadway Bound: Michele Takes on the Role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway September 6

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