Broadway Babes: 10 Women to Watch on Broadway This Season
10 Broadway Babes to Watch This Season
Get your tickets now because Broadway is getting even more beautiful this season.
We may spend a lot of time here talking about movies and TV, but don’t think for a moment we’ve forgotten the hard working actors and actresses of the live theater world! This season, Broadway is welcoming not only tons of epic new plays and musicals, but several amazing actors ranging from seasoned theater vets to A-list movie stars to those making their Broadway debut. It’s an exciting time to be a theater nerd, so we’re taking a moment to celebrate some of the amazing ladies who make it all possible! There’s no possible way to list them all, but here are our top 10 performances you’ll definitely want to watch out for this season:
Erin Davie & Emily Padgett: On American Horror Story: Freakshow, Sarah Paulson is able to play two conjoined twins thanks to the magic of CGI. In the Broadway revival of the musical Side Show, which is based on true story of conjoined-at-the-hip twins Violet and Daisy Hilton, the combined and semi-restrictive magic of theater and brilliant actresses means that two stars need to play both girls live without ever leaving each other’s side. We’re confident that Erin and Emily are the right girls for the part, and to prove it you can watch the official trailer here. The only thing we love more than one kick-ass leading lady is two, and with a ton of Broadway credits between them and rave reviews for their previous runs of the show at La Jolla Playhouse and The John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, Side Show is easily one of our most anticipated shows of the season.
Rose Byrne: If you don’t know who Rose Byrne is, you’d have to have been actively avoiding cinema and television since the mid-90s. This awesome Australian has been gracing all sorts of screens for a while now and demonstrating a crazy skill set in comedies like Bridesmaids, TV dramas like Damages, and disturbingly freaky horror films like Insidious that never fail to leave us either laughing or scared for our lives. Now, she’s coming for her Broadway debut as the star of You Can’t Take It With You at the Longacre Theater alongside James Earl Jones, and another one of our favorite actresses here at Shewired...
Annaleigh Ashford: We’ve adored Annaleigh Ashford for a while (and even got to interview her recently!) and now our favorite lesbian prostitute on Masters of Sex is back on Broadway in You Can’t Take It With You. Even better, she’s playing James Earl Jones’ granddaughter, a wannabe ballerina with zero dancing skills. Some Annaleigh comic awesomeness + a star studded cast makes us this one a definite ‘yes’ on our schedules.
Lena Hall: Neil Patrick Harris was certainly blazoned across the Hedwig and the Angry Inch marquee back in the day (the day being April - August, Andrew Rannells is currently playing the titular East German transgender singer/songwriter) but it wasn’t the mega-super star who stole our attention and continues to win our love at the Belasco theater. We’re not alone either, Lena Hall won a Tony Award this year for her portrayal of Yitzhak, Hedwig’s husband, backup singer, and generally adorable badass who constantly steals the show. Her charmingly bumbling male former drag queen may mostly lurk in the shadows but has pipes that rock our world. Lena also somehow manages to perform solo and/or with her band The Deafening nearly every single day of the year, so kudos to you and your epic stamina girl! Yeah, Hedwig technically opened last season, but we wouldn't dare not include her on this list, and you definitely shouldn't leave Hedwig off your theater-planning agenda either.
Emma Stone: It’s a magnificent time for Broadway debuts this season. We all know and love Emma Stone, and starting November 11th she’ll be heading to the Kit Kat Club to take on the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret after Michelle Williams departs. Emma’s engagement is pretty limited, ending February 1st, so make sure to get your tickets to Studio 54 now. Broadway’s a pretty sought after location for Hollywood’s Hottest A-Listers, and Emma’s about as in-demand as they come. We just can’t wait to ‘Wilkommen.’
Alysha Umphress: On The Town, the story of three sailors on shore leave for 24 hours in New York City, is generally always a crowd pleaser. In fact, this current Broadway run that opened for previews last Saturday, marks the show’s fourth revival since 1946. Of course, the ladies in the sailor's lives are just as important as the sailors themselves and one such lady character, Hildy Esterhazy who sings the show-stopping number “I Can Cook Too”, has a long history of being played by someone who’s entirely awesome. In 1971, Bernadette Peters played the role and in 1991 none other than Lea Delaria demonstrated her cooking skills, so we should probably all get to know and love Alysha Umphress who’s taking on Hildy this time. Alysha’s already madly diverse theater actress whose credits include rock-belting in American Idiot, solving cannibal crimes in Silence! The Musical, and earning rave reviews in the world premiere of the musical version of Beaches. And aside from being talented, she’s absolutely gorgeous. Get those tickets now, everyone!
Click here for more info on On The Town
Keke Palmer: You may know Keke Palmer as the star of Akeelah and the Bee when she was an adorable tot or most currently as Coral on Masters of Sex, but she’s really, in some way or another, mastered just about every medium. She’s a pop star, movie star, TV star (Nickelodeon’s True Jackson, VP anyone?), voice-over actress (probably employed forever by Ice Age) and now she’s currently starring as the first African American Cinderella on Broadway. In fact, we adore Keke Palmer so much we’ll probably stop by The Broadway Theater (that’s it’s actual name, we’re not just being vague) yet again to see the show even though we’ve already made the trip to see Broadway vet Laura Osnes originate the role and Carly Rae Jepsen of mostly "Call Me Maybe" fame take over in a surprisingly competent stunt-casting move. Keke Palmer’s also starring opposite Sherri Shepherd as the wicked stepmother, which only makes us just that much more curious. Cinderella certainly knows how to work its casting, and we’re loving every minute of it.
Emma Thorne: When a coworker says she’s leaving her job to pursue career in acting, usually it doesn’t go as well as it did for Emma Thorne. On a personal note, I was lucky enough to work alongside Emma before she swooped off to make her Broadway debut in The Elephant Man (starring Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson, but they’re not my former coworkers, so they can be in parenthesis this go ‘round), and I can guarantee you she’s one to watch out for. Emma will also be appearing in The Elephant Man alongside her friend Amanda Lea Mason, who recently co-starred with her in the soon-to-be-released short film Death and Cupcakes which features a nearly all-female cast so we're pretty sure we’re going to love it. Break a leg, Emma!
Alison Bechdel and the Cast of Fun Home: Okay, so the cast hasn’t quite been announced yet, but Fun Home still our most anticipated show of the new season. After a super successful run Off-Broadway at The Public Theater, the musical based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir will be making its way to Circle in the Square. The space is just about as intimate as Broadway gets, and we 're endlessly excited to be welcomed back to the house on Maple Avenue. We’ll have to wait till April, but undoubtedly it’ll be worth it. Tony Awards, this year the lesbians are coming for you...