11 Stars A-Shining On Broadway In 2008
(BROADWAY MAGAZINE) On the 11thDay of Broadway, my true love gave to me…11 Stars A-Shining. We continue our 12 Days Of Broadway celebration with Broadway Magazineand Broadway.tv with our list of the 11 Top Celebrity Turns on Broadway in 2008. Some stars shone more than others on Broadway this season, and here is our choice for 11 of the top. For purposes of this list, only one person per show, and only celebrities without a long Broadway tenure are eligible. We are defining celebrity as those who are largely famous for work in medium other than the stage. Our apologies to Liza Minnelli, who tops most anyone’s Broadway list this season.
1. Diane Wiest in All My Sons.Katie Holmes got the headlines, but Weist is completely fascinating to behold. She is our favorite celebrity on Broadway this season. John Lithgow, Patrick Wilson, Katie Holmes and the entire ensemble have made this production of Arthur Miller’s play one of the must-see dramas of the season.
2. Kristin Scott Thomas in The Seagull. She helped make Chekhov profitable on Broadway. A selfless star who was not afraid to show the selfish side of a complex iconic character. We have three words for Ms. Thomas and producers as they consider her next stage project-The Cherry Orchard!
3. Daniel Radcliffe in Equus.A dark play, but a totally committed performance from a star who seems to have the DNA of the great British stage stars of the past. Richard Griffiths and Kate Mulgrew are also more than exceptional.
4. Laurence Fishburne in Thurgood.With depth and nuance, Fishburne brought a judicial titan to life.
5. Clay Aiken in Spamalot. The new father may have made headlines with his outing, but he still is making audiences laugh with his sense of humor. Surely there are other musicals that would fit him like a glove.
6. Taylor Hicks in Grease. Soul Patrol fans and Broadway fans unite in cheering the good-natured and smooth singing soul stylist as he transitions from American Idol to Broadway’s Rookie-of-the-year.
7. Cedric The Entertainer in American Buffalo. A short run, but a bright future for Cedric on Broadway in the right vehicle…if he gets over his anger at Ben Brantley of The New York Times. Tony nomination for featured actor?
8. Marisa Tomei in Top Girls.This was a great production of a difficult play. Tomei was absolutely fascinating as the Scottish explorer who had ailments, passions, and liked the bread plate. Her change to the contemporary mother was equally solid.
9. Elisabeth Moss in Speed-The-Plow.Please stay away from the sushi, Ms. Moss. While the departed Jeremy Piven walked in and out as the headliner of this Mamet revival, Moss has left audiences wanting to see the AMC Mad Men star in other roles on-stage.
10. S. Epatha Merkerson from Come Back, Little Sheba. The star of Law and Order was riveting as Lola in William Inge’s haunting play.
11. Patrick Stewart in Macbeth. While he has a substantial Broadway resume, we’ve broken our own rule to include Stewart for his entertaining and soulful portrayal of Shakespeare’s Scottish King. So much blood!
Tags: 12 Days Of Broadway, All My Sons, AMC, American Buffalo, American Idol, Arthur Miller, Ben Brantley, Broadway Magazine, Cedric The Entertainer, Chekhov, Clay Aiken, Come Back Little Sheba, Daniel Radcliffe, Diane Wiest, Elisabeth Moss, Equus, Grease, Jeremy Piven, John Lightgow, Katie Holmes, Kristin Scott ThomasTop Girls, Laurence Fishburne, Law & Order, Liza Minnelli, Macbeth, Mad Men, Marisa Tomei, New York Times, Patrick Stewart, Patrick WilsonThe Cherry Orchard, S. Epatha Merkerson, Spamalot, Speed The Plow, Sushi, Taylor Hicks, The Seagull, Thurgood, Tom Cruise, William Inge