Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Trends of The First Ten Years: The Decade of the Diva

For this blog, I am sing the term "diva" in both the traditional sense - big, brassy personality with powerful performances - and in the general sense - a strong Broadway gal with a career on the stage.  Some of these ladies have been around for decades; others really came into their own during the decade just past.

But no matter how you consider them, the first decade of the new millennium would have been nothing with out them!

Child Star to Broadway Diva... the Andrea McArdle of 2K: 

Allie Trimm (13, Bye Bye Birdie)

The New Kids on the Block... Look Out New Decade!

1.  Karen Olivo (In the Heights, Tony-winner for West Side Story)

2.  Jennifer Damiano (Spring Awakening, next to normal - Tony nominee, Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark)

3.  Elizabeth Stanley (Company, Cry-Baby, Xanadu, Million Dollar Quartet)

4.  Megan Hilty (Wicked, 9 to 5: The Musical)

5.  Jenny Powers (Grease, Little Women, Happiness, It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman!)

A Classic Broadway Lady Never Goes Out of Style

Marian Seldes

1.  Elaine Stritch  (At Liberty!, A Little Night Music)
2.  Marian Seldes (Deuce, Lifetime Achievement Tony Award)
3.  Liza Minnelli (Minnelli on Minnelli, Liza's at the Palace!)
4.  Chita Rivera (Nine, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life)
5.  Bernadette Peters (Gypsy, Founder of Broadway Barks, A Little Night Music)

These Gals Are In It for the Long Haul... Multi-decade Stage Careers

1.  Phylicia Rashad (A Raisin in the Sun - Tony Award, Gem of the Ocean - Tony nominee, Cymbeline, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, August: Osage County)
2.  Faith Prince (James Joyce's The Dead, Bells Are Ringing - Tony nominee, Noises Off, A Catered Affair - Tony nominee, The Little Mermaid)
3.  Jan Maxwell (The Dinner Party, Sixteen Wounded, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Tony nominee, Coram Boy - Tony nominee, To Be or Not to Be, The Royal Family - Tony nominee, Lend Me a Tenor - Tony nominee)

4.  Cherry Jones (A Moon for the Misbegotten - Tony nominee, Major Barbara, Imaginary Friends, Doubt - Tony Award, Faith Healer)
5.  Donna Murphy (Wonderful Town - Tony nominee, Lovemusik - Tony nominee, Anyone Can Whistle)
6.  Charlotte d'Amboise (Contact, Chicago, Sweet Charity, A Chorus Line - Tony nominee)
7.  Debra Monk (Thou Shalt Not, Reckless, Curtains - Tony nominee)
8.  Tonya Pinkins (The Wild Party, Caroline, or Change - Tony nominee, Radio Golf)
9.  Kathleen Turner (The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - Tony nominee)

10.  Barbara Walsh (Company, Hairspray)

One Hit Wonders...Please Come Back to Broadway!

Sara Ramirez

1.  Marissa Jaret Winokur (Hairspray - Tony Award)
2.  Sara Ramirez (A Class Act, Spamalot - Tony Award)
3.  Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Avenue Q - Tony nominee, Theatre World Award)
4.  Ashley Brown (Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins)

One Decade Wonders... They Did All This in 10 Short Years!!??

1.  Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie - Tony Award, Little Women - Tony nominee, The Drowsy Chaperone - Tony nominee, Young Frankenstein, Shrek: The Musical - Tony nominee, Anything Goes)

2.  Laura Benanti (Swing! -Tony nominee, Into the Woods - Tony nominee, Nine, The Wedding Singer, Gypsy - Tony Award, In the Next Room...or the Vibrator Play)
3.  Kelli O'Hara (Follies, Sweet Smell of Success, Dracula: The Musical, The Light in the Piazza - Tony nominee, The Pajama Game - Tony nominee, South Pacific - Tony nominee)

4.  Kerry Butler (Beauty and the Beast, Hairspray - Tony nominee, Little Shop of Horrors, Xanadu - Tony nominee, Rock of Ages)
5.  Jennifer Gambatese (Hairspray, A Year with Frog and Toad, All Shook Up, Tarzan, Is He Dead?)

6.  Katie Finneran (Noises Off - Tony Award, Mauritius, Promises, Promises - Tony Award)
7.  Laura Bell Bundy (Hairspray, Wicked, Legally Blonde - Tony nominee)

8.  Stephanie J. Block (The Boy from Oz, Wicked, The Pirate Queen, 9 to 5: The Musical - Tony nominee)
9.  Jackie Hoffman (Hairspray - Theatre World Award, Xanadu, The Addams Family)
10.  Mary Testa (42nd Street - Tony nominee, Xanadu, Guys and Dolls)

And the Five Best Diva Performances of the Century by the Five Best Divas (so far...):

5.  Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked

4.  Victoria Clark in The Light in the Piazza

3.  Christine Ebersole in Grey Gardens

2.  Alice Ripley in next to normal

1.  Patti LuPone in Gypsy

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