The Sunday Giveaway: Two tickets to Kinky Boots on Broadway with Wayne Brady!

Ok, my friends and blog readers, the holidays are over.  It’s time to get kinky!!!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new Lola in town at the Hirschfeld Theatre . . . and it’s none other than Wayne Brady!

Wayne just went into Kinky Boots a few weeks ago and he’s already killin’ it, as Ben Brantley wrote about here in his rave of his performance (and the show).  So if you haven’t seen Kinky Boots yet  . . . well, first, what the “heel” have you been waiting for . . . and second, we’re going to give you a chance to see it for free right now!

Wayne is a perfect example of the perfect replacement.  He’s got name recognition to put a spotlight back on a show that is a couple years into its run and he’s incredibly talented.  It’s a double whammy of kinky-ness.

What’s the best replacement of a lead actor you’ve seen on Broadway?  Tell me in the comments below and one of you will win a chance to see Wayne in Kinky Boots for freebies!  (I’ve seen a ton, but one of mine had to be Mandy Patinkin in Falsettos – man did he sing the crap out of that.)

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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Comments
  • Nancy Paris says:

    Chilina Kennedy as Carole King replacing Jesse Mueller.

  • Harvey Fierstein for Alfred Molina in the revival of Fiddler. He put the yiddishkeit back in the show. Close second, Elaine Strich for Angela Lansbury in the revival of Night Music.

  • Laura Marshall says:

    Emma Stone taking over from Michelle Williams in Cabaret? Jonathan Groff for Brian D’Arcy James in Hamilton? Billie Joe Armstrong taking over from Tony Vincent as St. Jimmy in American Idiot.

  • Nicole says:

    Marin Mazzie as Diana in Next to Normal.

  • Audrey Lang says:

    Taylor Richardson as Annie in Annie, or Alison Luff as Miss Honey in Matilda–or, just thought of this, Lindsay Mendez as Elphaba and Alli Mauzey as Galinda in Wicked!!

  • Sean Springle says:

    John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig on Broadway 😛

  • Ann Kram says:

    Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch in Night Music!

  • Jennifer says:

    Sierra Boggess as Christine in Phantom of the Opera

  • Jocelyn says:

    I think I would have to say J. Robert Spencer for Brian D’Arcy James as Dan in Next to Normal

  • Ronald Kustina says:

    I feel Ramin Karimloo playing Jean Valjean is the best ever in that role. I have seen him in Philadelphia singing Bring Him Home with only a guitar and it sends chills through me. He is diverse having played Raoul in Phantom. It is a testament to him that Weber chose him for the 25th anniversary concert.. In it there is an actual face-off between him and Colin Wilkinson who was the original Jean Valjean on Broadway.

  • Sienna Miller replacing Michelle Williams as Sally Bowles in ‘Cabaret’.. (Un)Surprisingly good.

  • Megan S says:

    My favorite would have to be Meghann fahy in next to normal! Her performance captivated the audience and even after seeing n2n with the original cast, it was probably one of my favorite performances of the show I’ve seen.

  • Jared Goerke says:

    Marin Mazzie in anything. La Mancha, Spamalot, next to normal.

  • Steven says:

    Fantasia Barrino as Celie in the Color Purple. I groaned when I heard she was coming to Broadway and I barely paid attention when she sang “I’m here” on American Idol and Oprah before she went into the show. But when I finally saw it, she was transformative. It was unbelievable that this was the replacement and her Broadway debut, to boot. Just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover. A replacement can make a show and transform a show – Fantasia proved that!

  • Noa Saunders says:

    Michael C. Hall taking over in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

  • Jeanie L says:

    Reba McEntire for Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun

  • Melissa N. says:

    Rebecca Luker in Cinderella!

  • Laurie B. says:

    Bianca Marroquin as Roxy Hart in Chicago! She has stepped into the role a few times and she’s my fave! So much energy with a dynamic voice as well!

  • Tracey says:

    Christopher Sieber stepping in as Ms. Trunchbull in Matilda. Who better than Chris? He is ridiculously amazing in all the characters he plays!!

  • Eva Mack says:

    Tyler Lea replaces Alex Sharp in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

  • Francie-Sue says:

    The very best is Harvey Fierstein as Tevya in Fiddler! Alfred Molina was good but Harvey brought the emotions to the surface. He exuded the Jewish feelings of the character. He may very well may have been living a relative ‘ actual experience.

  • Molly Balk says:

    Definitely Nancy Opel as The Drowsy Chaperone! She was the perfect choice. I also loved seeing Michael C. Hall in Hedwig’s boots, so much so that his glittery face adorns a poster on my wall!

  • Ed says:

    Third time seeing A Chorus Line. Standing room. Five minutes before curtain an announcement comes on: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the role of Cassie, which was to be played by Pamela Sousa (audience groan… an understudy announcement) will be played by Donna McKechnie” (audience gasp-WOW)

  • Michael says:

    Angela Lansbury for Gertrude Lawrence for 24 performances of The King and I (yes, really and I have the poster to prove it 🙂

  • Ron Parady stepped in to play the father in “Proof.” He was
    magnificent. “Let x equal the month of September,” in that beautiful, resonant,
    voice. It was his last role on Broadway. When he was offered the role for the rest
    of the run, he was too ill to accept it. He was a great talent, and when he died,
    his obituary rested between that of Gregory Peck and Hume Cronin. His wife said,
    “Oh, Ron would have loved this.”

  • Janet says:

    Neil Patrick Harris in Cabaret

  • Sara Wolter says:

    Betty Buckley as Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd!

  • Mary Ann Bourbeau says:

    Easiest question ever! It was Reba McEntire in Annie Get Your Gun. She was born to play that role!

  • Candace says:

    Believe it or not, I loved George Hamilton in “Chicago!” Suave, debonair, and tan, he was the perfect Billy Flynn!

  • Clare says:

    I wasn’t living in NYC at the time, and I was all excited to see Alan Cumming in Cabaret… but when I got there, some guy was singing the role whom I had never heard of–I was quite miffed not to see Alan’s name on the cast board… but this replacement was was REALLY good… turns out it was Raul Esparza.

  • LARRY ABRAMSKY says:

    HERSCHEL BERNARDI FOR ZERO MOSTEL in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF…AND ALL THE TEVYES THAT FOLLOWED.

    ALL THE DOLLYS WHO WENT ON AFTER CAROL CHANNING (BRILLIANT DAVID MERRICK CHOICES)…. HOW ABOUT THE ENTIRE BLACK PRODUCTION WITH CAB CALLOWAY & PEARL BAILEY!!!

    EQUUS – OMG – ANTHONY HOPKINS, TONY PERKINS, RICHARD BURTON

  • Shari Fox Laval says:

    Corbin Bleu taking over the lead role in In the Heights.

  • Brian Weiner says:

    I saw Gina Gershon replace several prior Sally Bowles’s on Broadway in Cabaret, and I am surprised to say that she was “hot hot hot!”

  • Karl P says:

    Micky Dolenz (from the Monkees!) was surprisingly good as Zoser in Aida. Amazing voice, especially for an older actor and terrific stage presence.

  • mbt says:

    what’s not to love about Neil Patrick Harris in Cabaret??

  • Carl C. says:

    Estelle Parsons when she took over for Tony winner Deanna Dunagan in August: Osage County. Show didn’t lose a beat rplacing a Tony winner.

  • Isaac Grivett says:

    John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig on Broadway, Corey Cott in Newsies, or Krysta Rodriguez in (the original) Spring Awakening

  • Lucy says:

    Best replacement goes to my first Broadway musical in 1970…Ethel Merman playing the lead in Hello Dolly…they heard her in New Jersey!

  • Reba in Annie Get Your Gun, for sure

  • Bette says:

    John Cameron Mitchell was an awesome Hedwig, but then again he did create her. 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    Does John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig count 😀

  • Brian says:

    Tommy Bachelor in Billy Elliot. It was a breath taking performance I had seen one of the Tony winners and perhaps he was having a bad day but it was not a Tony-worthy performance. I saw the show 9 times and all the Billy’s were wonderful. I also loved Patti LuPone in Master Class. It wasn’t a replacement but Judy Kaye as Mrs Lovett at Papermill was sensational.

  • Noelle says:

    I have two. Try as I might, I can’t pick just one.
    Adam Pascal in Memphis
    Kerry Ellis in Wicked

  • Ben Lebofsky says:

    Hedwig did this really well (except for Taye Diggs which pretty much everyone agrees was a huge mistep), and Emma Stone in Cabaret was another brilliant replacement as well!

  • Grant Kuehl says:

    Tie between Katie Clarke in Light in the Piazza or Lindsay Mendez in Wicked.

  • Fran says:

    I know it shows my age, but Edward Mulhare in My Fair Lady. I don’t know if he was the best replacement, and afterwards seeing Rex Harrison in the movie, he probably wasn’t , but my goodness. It was the first Broadway show I ever went to and I have been in love with theater ever since!

  • Mark Borum says:

    Gotta be Will Chase in Miss Saigon.

  • Kristin D. says:

    Corey Cott in Newsies. A fantastic Broadway debut!

  • Josh says:

    Sandy Duncan in Chicago. Incredible

  • Dean says:

    This one goes way back, but Raquel Welch taking over for Lauren Bacall in Woman of the Year!

  • Jeremy Terry says:

    Sierra Boggess in Phantom!

  • Howard Levitsky says:

    Sandy Duncan as Roxie in CHICAGO. She had been doing PETER PAN for a good while and clearly wanted a complete change. Hers was the flat-out skankiest Roxie ever, funny as hell. She didn’t play the role for long, possibly because she injured herself a couple of times. But what a treat for those who saw it!

  • Christine Connallon says:

    Michael C. Hall in Hedwig

  • Bryan Austermann says:

    Hands down Rachel Tucker as Elphaba. I saw Rachel for the first time for my 26th viewing of Wicked. Really the entire current cast is KILLING THE GAME. I have not been this excited about Wicked since I saw the Original Broadway Company back in 2004. I love a masterful beltress, which so many Elphabas have been, but Rachel is that with SUPREME acting chops and strong choices behind every word. I was blown away. I saw the show in October and I’m still broken. Her vocal choices literally caused me to exclaim, in full voice, how “fantastic” she was after The Wizard and I. And she GROWLED at the end of Defying Gravity. I just. I can’t. Rachel Tucker is, without a doubt, the best replacement of a lead actor on Broadway I’ve ever seen.

  • Eva Ostrum says:

    Bebe Neuwirth as Roxie Hart in 2006: She originated the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago and then, almost 10 years later, went on to play Velma’s rival. That’s gutsy and Neuwirth did it with her customary flair and amazing performance!

  • Eva Ostrum says:

    Also Kyle Jean-Baptiste as Jean Valjean. He would have gone down in Les Mis history as one of the best if he had not lost his life.

  • Anne Marie Schultz says:

    Michael C Hall as Hedwig – he’s even hot in heels, and he put on a great show

  • Jacob Persily says:

    I thought Clay Aiken was the perfect replacement in Spamalot, because the show did not become about the celebrity in the cast, he slipped into the ensemble nature of the piece.

  • Eddie says:

    Reba in Annie Get Your Gun!

  • Natalia O says:

    Michael C. Hall in HEDWIG. He was my absolute favorite! (Although really all the Hedwigs were fantastic!)

  • rita says:

    Darren Criss in Hedwig!!!

  • Gayle says:

    Carolee Carmello in Kiss MeKate and Marin Mazie in Next to Normal

  • Michael Penna says:

    I would have to say for me it was Reba McEntire when she replaced Bernedete Peters in Annie Get Your Gun. Bernedete was wonderful, but the show needed a name and someone who could fill the role correctly. I believe they found it in Reba. At first, I thought this was not the best choice since Reba had no experience performing in a show. But when I saw this production and the critics saw this production we where all wrong. She was wonderful. Reba was at home on that stage. She brought not only her amazing voice, but she also brought a new life to the role of Annie. She brought that genuine country heart and soul that I do not think anyone who has played her has. It truly was a perfect replacement and an amazing night in the theater that I will always remember

  • Ariana Johns says:

    David Bowie as John Merrick in The Elephant Man…so blessed to have seen his performance, and I wasn’t even very aware of his music at the time…

  • Robert P. says:

    Andrew Rannals in Hedwig and the Angry Inch! He was so sassy!

  • Katherine says:

    Judith Light for Linda Lavin in Other Desert Cities.

  • Ryan says:

    John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig was incredible – worth the flight out to NYC (although, really, does he actually count as a replacement?). Runners-up would be Martin Short in It’s Only a Play and Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon.

  • Michelle says:

    Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig. He was absolutely brilliant!

  • Lane says:

    Julie White taking over for Sigourney Weaver in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

  • Caren says:

    Saw the original Wicked over 10 years ago with the fabulous Kristin Chenoweth. A few months ago and a decade later I saw Kara Lindsay in the role. Talk about passing on a legacy and succession planning. Been many in the role since the original but I loved this 1..maybe it was my own maturity or the passage of time- seeing something old new again, but her acting/singing engendered sympathy for a narcissistic character this go around for me.

  • CORINE says:

    Jose’ Llana, The King And I. He was excellent.

  • Allison M says:

    I would definitely have to say every single replacement Hedwig through the entire run of the show.

  • David H. says:

    I’d have to say Rob Evan in Jekyll & Hyde. He was outstanding and certainly way above the one on the TV broadcast, who will remain nameless. I think he has never received the recognition he deserved.
    Have to give a mention also to Tovah Feldshuh in the Pippin revival. She was outstanding.

  • Diane says:

    Howard McGillin taking over the role of Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden from Mandy Patinkin. A hard act to follow, but he had great chemistry with Rebecca Luker as Lily. He was also a wonderful replacement as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera and as of now he holds the record for playing that role the longest. And since I’m on the Howard McGillin soap box, he was also a very good replacement in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

    Another favorite replacement was Rob Evan for Robert Cuccioli as the title character in Jekyll & Hyde.

  • Brian says:

    Vanessa Williams in Kiss of the Spider Woman

  • EllenFD says:

    Robert Goulet’s replacing Daniel Davis in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. Goulet was in magnificent voice and his acting was absolutely fine. It was a thrill to see him on stage again, the first time since I was a teen and saw him in THE HAPPY TIME.

  • Keni Fine says:

    It would have to be Pee-Wee Herman as the Wizard of Oz in Wicked.
    Unparalleled. … (Has it happened, or am I still dreaming?)

  • Stewart Eiss says:

    Herschel Bernardi as tevye in fiddler on the roof after Zero Mostel

  • Randy Zeese says:

    Alan Cumming as Emcee in Cabaret (after Joel Grey)…And Alan’s repeat 18 years later was as good as his first run!

  • Josh Schneck says:

    Loved seeing Priscilla Lopez in Pippin!

  • Amanda says:

    I’d have to say Arielle Jacobs as Nina in IN THE HEIGHTS. She was a young, fresh face who looked and acted perfectly as the part of Nina. She had a glorious voice and really drew your attention back to Nina in the show, when it could get all over the place focusing on Usnavi, the Rosario parents, Abuela, Benny, Daniela/Carla. It was easy to tell she was destined for more Broadway roles!

  • Shane H says:

    The entire run of replacements for NPH in the recent Hedwig & the Angry Inch run: Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, John Cameron Mitchell, Darren Criss, and Taye Diggs. Each of them made the role their own!

  • Allison DeLuca says:

    I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Darren Criss in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (I love Darren Criss but I still had my doubts). He really took on the role and sold it. I also saw Sierra Boggess in Phantom of the Opera which of course was fabulous.

  • Sarina Gonzalez says:

    Carly Hughes in Pippin!! Awesome singer, great for the part!

  • Cara says:

    All the Hedwigs, Corey Cott in Newsies, Kara Lindsey in Wicked

  • Dana Vance says:

    Brad Oscar as Max in “The Producers”

  • Don S. says:

    George Dvorsky for Douglas Sills as “The Scarlet Pimpernel.”

  • Joe Marino says:

    While I second mentions of Emma Stone (Cabaret) and Estelle Parsons (August: Osage County), I will offer two other shows with fantastic replacements:

    Bradley Whitfield/Perry King (A Few Good Men)
    Jim Dale/ Ellen Foley (Me and My Girl

  • Greg says:

    Pretty much gotta be Bebe.

  • Sarah P. says:

    Bernadette Peters replacing Catherine Zeta-Jones, no contest!! 🙂 She shoulda been the original, so perfect!

  • Stephen S. says:

    So many great ones it’s hard to mention just one but I would say Taye Diggs in Wicked. It was brilliant to cast the then husband of the lead who also had quite a name for himself. The on stage chemistry was real and worked beautifully.

  • sheryl wiener says:

    Christopher Seiber in Matilda!!!!! Hands down, the best Trunchbull!!!1

  • Michael says:

    Norbert Leo Butz – his Broadway debut was as a replacement swing in Rent then advancing to play the role of Roger.

  • Tyler Cicardo says:

    I’ve gotta go with John Cameron Mitchell in ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ – there’s no one better. He embodies that role. (Although, personally, I think Michael C. Hall was a very, very close runner-up!) Thanks for these contests, Ken! Love ’em!

  • Todd Morgan says:

    Howard McGillan in the Secret Garden.

  • Ladd Boris says:

    While I watch this blog daily this will be my first entry! I am no longer a PRODUCER’S PROSPECTIVE BLOG VIRGIN!!!!

    Betty Buckley in SUNSET BOULEVARD has to be my absolute favorite replacement. Many theatre folk on this side of the “pond” were enraged that we would not get to see Patti LuPone recreate the role of Norma Desmond here. After all, she is “Broadway Royalty” and deserved to bring Norma to Broadway. Those like me, went to see Glenn Close with a “chip on our shoulders” We had long tolerated seeing Broadway Divas, who created iconic roles, being passed over when our favorite musicals made their way to the celluloid screen (Rosalind Russell for Merman in GYPSY Ball for Lansbury in MAME Streisand for Channing in DOLLY, Taylor for Johns in NGHT MUSIC) but this was it! Now we had to see it in reverse WHILE an OCR already existed with a Diva, LuPone! True, Glenn had done a Broadway musical before (BARNUM) but she was a movie star! We left the performance feeling somewhat changed. Maybe even crestfallen, She succeeded. Close was indeed a wonderful actress and in many respects made the role her own and brought us into the bizarre world of Norma Desmond just as Gloria Swanson did in the iconic movie. That said this is a MUSICAL written for a Musical Theatre DIVA VOICE! While she may have made the role her own she would never bring to the, by then, popular anthems the voice they seemed to have been written for. Give her all the TONY’S you want. She is NOT a Diva singer. By now Patti LuPone made her resentment for Lloyd Weber public so we had no hopes of seeing her interpretation on the great BROAD way! Enter Betty Buckley. A BROADWAY DIVA who had also found some success on the smaller screen. An actress who sang. And WHAT singing! Not a performance would go by when Norma sings AS IF WE NEVER SAID GOODBYE that the audience didn’t erupt, mid song, at the climactic moment “I’VE COME HOME AT LAST”. That she could sing the role was not a surprise. Buckley’s TONY win was for a song, MEMORY in CATS. It was the combination that made it so special. The fusion that a singing actress is. She incorporated the “cray-cray” of Gloria Swanson and imbued it with a vulnerability that was heartbreaking AND she had that voice! She was the package! The Broadway Diva that we wanted to see. I think I would have even preferred her to La Lu Pone. There was something about the child like quality in Buckley’s performance arch that made the journey unique. Ah, memories!

  • John Sweeney says:

    It’s easy for me: Karen Ziemba stepping into Jodi Benson’s in Crazy For You: it transformed the show for me.

  • Gitta k. Jacobs says:

    Many many years ago I went to ny to see Carol Haney
    And it was announced that she was unable to perform
    And the understudy was Shirley MacLaine. Too bad

  • Brandon P says:

    Jessie Mueller replacing Kelli O’Hara in NICE WORK…

    She and Gershwin are a match made in musical heaven.

  • Paul Holly says:

    Donna Murphy taking over for Betty Buckley in THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD.

  • Farrell says:

    George Hearn replacing Len Cariou as Sweeney Todd–Cariou is of course memorialized in the OBC recording, but Hearn was especially formidable and gave us the brilliant live concert performance and recording years in the future as well.

  • Rob says:

    Gavin Creel as Elder Price in Book of Mormon.

  • Keith says:

    Shoshana Bean when she took over for Idina Menzel as Elphaba in “Wicked.” It is not that she was better, but that she was different… and she was sure as hell going to put her Shoshana tough (riffs) on that score to make it her own and start the pattern of making that part different.

  • Ayla Schermer says:

    In honor of Hairspray closing 7 years ago today, I’m going to have to go with Shannon Durig taking over the role of Tracy Turnblad. She was so wonderful- I went back and saw her several times and absolutely loved her performance each time. She was also so sweet at the stage door. I hope to see her on Broadway again someday!

  • Ethan K says:

    Andrew Samonsky for Matthew Morrison in South Pacific – a darker edge to Lt. Cable

  • Emily Herschbein says:

    Stephanie J. Block in Anything Goes replacing Sutton Foster!

  • Jim Keegan says:

    Sting in “The Last Ship”

  • Kyrsten Louchen says:

    Bernadette Peters and the legendary Elaine Stritch in A Little Night Music

  • Randi says:

    Marin Mazzie in Next to Normal

  • Rosie says:

    Pearl Bailey in Hello Dolly…she was fab…I had great Orchestra seats and could really appreciate all her nuances of the character.

  • Aaron Deitsch says:

    Billie Joe Armstrong in American Idiot and Sting in The Last Ship. Both made me re-visit shows I loved a lot sooner than I would have

  • Phyllis Drohan says:

    I loved Rachel Tucker in Wicked!

  • Jeryl M. says:

    Corbin Bleu in Godspell.

  • Lisa Weiss says:

    Sutton Foster in Thoroughly Modern Millie. I’ve been following her in shows both on Broadway and Television, since.

  • CJ ehrlich says:

    It would have to be Tova Feldshuh for Andrea Martin in Pippin. Two strong, amazing actors, but to see Tova commanding the stage (and the trapeze!) as the Grandmother was a memorable Broadway moment.
    Of course, having just enjoyed Andrea and her comic timing (steeped in decades of experience) in Noises Off, I got the best of both!

  • Jared Wietbrock says:

    Bernadette Peters taking over for Catherine Zeta-Jones in “A Little Night Music.” I’m one of the few who seem to think Zeta-Jones actually deserved her Best Actress Tony for that show, but Peters was just perfection. So good I had to go back and see her again!

  • R.J. Lowe says:

    Mine is a tie…
    John Cameron Mitchell as a replacement (which is funny if you think about it) in the Broadway HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH.

    AND

    Mandy Patinkin in FALSETTOS. It was because he went in to the show that this beautiful, heart-felt show became my first ever BROADWAY show!!!

  • Alyssa C. says:

    How to Succeed in Business with Daniel Radcliffe was great. However, after he left I saw the show again with Darren Criss and Nick Jonas. So happy to see these great actors!

  • Matthew Turkle says:

    Easy! Seeing Marin Mazzie as a replacement for Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in the “Man of La Mancha” revival. Breathtaking and so nuanced as always.

  • R. Scott Williams says:

    Two actresses come to mind. Way back in the day, Patti Lupone replaced Zoe Caldwell as Maria Callas in Master Class. Anyone who only though of Patti as a musical actress was very much mistaken. A few years ago, I caught The Addams Family during the final week of its run. Roger Rees did his best but he was tired and the show was exhausted. The less said about Brooke Shields as Morticia, the better. But Heidi Blickenstaff, who had taken over the role of Mrs Meineke, blew me away. When she belted out her number in act two, the roof came off the joint. It was the first time I’d seen her, but she is the main reason I lined up for a ticket to Something Rotten a year ago.

  • Dawn S. says:

    Sebastian Back in Jeckyl and Hyde. It was a very pleasant surprise!

  • Landon Shaw says:

    I am torn, as this is a VERY interesting topic and to list a favorite is incredibly difficult. I love SO many of the ones that were mentioned. However, two come to my mind and as I thought I kept coming back to these. So, my TOP choice would be Neil Patrick Harris as the “Emcee” in CABARET (1998 revival). Now, I know there were a couple of “Star” replacements after Alan Cumming left the show. I saw most of them, but NPH was just incredible and really impressed me and I think many others. Unless you saw him in RENT (Los Angeles), most were not aware of his musical theatre chops, but this role in my opinion cemented it for everyone with his Broadway debut. He followed that up the following year with his stellar performance as the “Balladeer/Oswald” a year later in ASSASSINS and never let up.

    My second choice would be Will Chase as “Roger” in RENT. Adam Pascal had completely defined that role (along with the entire cast in their respective roles) and after such a solid performance, left BIG shoes to fill. There were again some amazing and great replacements, but I really feel Will Chase created a NEW “Roger” that still worked within the show and remained true to the overall vision. However, his portrayal stood out as a NEW and almost reimagined “Roger” that really was HIS and not a “replica” of Adam.

    So, those are my two and again, this was a hard one to decide. However, it was fun to reflect on and kind of catalogue those performances that we all saw and share. I love the list and for me it just proves how lucky we are to have these artists and to be able to see them mastering their craft!

  • Theo says:

    I, too, really enjoyed Mandy Patinkin as Marvin in Falsettos. His voice is just magnificent. Another top pick: Reba McEntire in Annie Get Your Gun. Who better to play the legendary Annie Oakley than this quick-witted country gal? It was fate.

  • When Bob Saget took over as ‘The Man In The Chair’ in “Drowsy Chaperone”!

    Bob was fun, very audience friendly on stage, and perfect for the role!

  • Jenna Rich says:

    Sting in “The Last Ship” and John Cameron Mitchell back as Hedwig were definitely highlights for me!

  • Maya Banitt says:

    Gabriella Pizzolo replacing Sydney Lucas in Fun Home. She did an amazing job!

  • Mara figoras says:

    I’d have to say Kara Lindsay in Wicked! Love her. Also I love Cortney Wolfson in Kinky Boots!

  • Joe S says:

    Bernadette Peters in A Little Night Music!

  • Rick Shulman says:

    Back in the 80’s I was very upset that Stockard Channing was no longer in “House Of Blue Leaves” at Lincoln Center. She had been replaced by an actress that I had never heard of named Christine Baranski. Needless to say, she was incredible and I could not imagine Ms. Channing doing the role any better.

  • After seeing Alice Ripley twice in Next to Normal, I was curious to see Marin Mazzie. Where Ripley brought vulnerability and unpredictability to the role, Mazzie brought a strength that was also fitting. Still erratic and lost in her mind, but forceful and yearning to be whole again. And NOTHING against Ripley, but Mazzie was fresh in the role and therefore her voice was just stronger and more consistent.

  • Erika M says:

    Kyle Dean Massey’s Pippin was so great.

  • Katherine Ray says:

    Michael C Hall in Hefwig… Love!

  • B.J. Jones says:

    Norm Lewis as Phantom and Sierra as Christine. Perfection.

  • ECP says:

    A huge surprise. Fill Bernadette Peters shoes?! No, strut your own charisma and talent. Reba McEntire delighted from curtain up to curtain down in her Broadway debut in the revival of “Annie Get Your Gun.” Mega-watt charm.

  • Michael Paglia says:

    Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch in A Little Night Music. They were captivating.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

Featured Program
The TheaterMakers Studio
Featured Product
Be A Broadway Star
Featured Webinar
Path to Production Webinar
Featured Book
Broadway Investing 101
All Upcoming Events

december, 2019

16dec8:00 pm9:00 pmPRO Office Hours

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