Tuesday, July 9, 2019

300 Shows: Greatest Performances By an Actress and Best Replacements

As I said last week when discussing the greatest performances by an actor (HERE), when you are fortunate enough to have seen 300 different Broadway productions, you are even more fortunate to have seen great, even legendary performances. And I have seen some of the greatest actresses to have ever graced the Broadway stage. I've also been lucky to have seen most of the remarkable women on this list more than once. The performances I selected are those that through years have seared themselves into my memory. It was even harder to pare my list down to just fifteen this time. Doesn't it say something when the likes of Audra McDonald, Betty Buckley, Chita Rivera and Patti LuPone didn't make the cut??!!

300 Shows: Best Performances by an Actress

Nina Arianda - Venus in Fur

Ellen Barkin - The Normal Heart

Laura Benanti - Gypsy

Cynthia Erivo - The Color Purple

Sutton Foster - Violet

Glenda Jackson - Three Tall Women

Angela Lansbury - Mame

Katrina Lenk - The Band’s Visit

Beth Malone - Fun Home

Elaine May - The Waverly Gallery

Idina Menzel - Rent

Cristin Millioti - Once

Donna Murphy - Passion

Bernadette Peters - Follies

Alice Ripley/Emily Skinner - Side Show

BONUS: Best Risk Taken by an Actress: She always plays the bubbly, happy and funny girl. With this show, Kristin Chenoweth took a big chance and played serious, flawed and unhappy. And - though many disagree - I thought she was heartbreaking and brilliant.

Kristin Chenoweth - Promises, Promises

Over the years, I've seen many, many cast replacements. It's always a chance to see a character, a show, in a different light. Some are more successful than others, and it's not always an easy task to take over - especially if the previous actor was acclaimed. Here are my 5 favorite replacements, plus the two best replacement casts, I've seen - so far!

300 Shows: Best Replacements

Betty Buckley - Sunset Boulevard

Petula Clark - Blood Brothers

Sandy Duncan - Chicago

Michael C. Hall - Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Howie Michael Smith - Avenue Q

Cast: Vanessa Williams, Howard McGillin, Brian Stokes Mitchell -
Kiss of the Spider Woman

Cast: Kyle Dean Massey, Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley -
Next to Normal


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