A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway

From newcomer Zachary Levi on his FIRST DATE with Broadway to veteran, half-masked opera instructor Hugh Panaro as the 'PHANTOM', this season on the Great White Way is filled with men who know how to reign onstage.

Whether tackling multiple roles in A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE or directing the audience through a Cotton Club romp in AFTER MIDNIGHT, originating a new character in BIG FISH, or teaming up with an unexpected ally in KINKY BOOTS, there's no shortage of talent gracing the stage eight shows a week.

The range of this season's leading men is hard to ignore: From the classic -- Santino Fontana's prince in CINDERELLA and Matthew James Thomas' wide-eyed 'PIPPIN' -- to the quirky with Chris Hoch's torture-happy headmistress in MATILDA and the ever-crusading Matt Doyle as THE BOOK OF MORMON's 'Elder Price'.

Below, BWW brings you the cream of the crop currently on Broadway -- and be sure to let us know your favorite in this week's poll!


Jefferson Mays as 'D'Ysquith Family'
A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER

Before playing the many multi-faceted family members of the D'Ysquith Family in the much-lauded A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, Mays appeared in Gore Vidal's THE BEST MAN on Broadway, PYGMALION, I AM MY OWN WIFE, and more.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Joanna Glushak, Lauren Worsham, Bryce Pinkham, Lisa O'Hare, and Jefferson Mays. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Dule Hill as 'The Host'
AFTER MIDNIGHT

PSYCH star Dule Hill, currently starring in the musical revue AFTER MIDNIGHT opposite Fantasia Barrino, is Great White Way newbie. Before shuffling onto Broadway in 'MIDNIGHT,' Hill previously appeared in STICK FLY and BRING IN 'DA NOISE, BRING IN 'DA FUNK.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Dule Hill. Photo by Walter McBride.

Ron Raines as 'Daddy Warbucks'
ANNIE

Ron Raines only recently stepped into the shiney shoes of ANNIE's 'Daddy Warbucks,' replacing original star Anthony Warlow. He may be new to ANNIE, but Raines is no newcomer to the stage. The former GUIDING LIGHT actor also appeared in CHICAGO as leading man 'Billy Flynn,' and Disney's NEWSIES.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Ron Raines

Jake Epstein as 'Gerry Goffin'
BEAUTIFUL - THE Carole King MUSICAL

Jake Epstein may be best known for his stint on DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION, but he's quickly made a name for himself in the theater world with spins in SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK and the first national tour of AMERICAN IDIOT. Now, he gets to woo Carole King (Jesse Mueller) nightly as famed songwriter 'Gerry Goffin' in Broadway's BEAUTIFUL.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Jessie Mueller and Jake Epstein. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Norbert Leo Butz as 'Edward Bloom'
BIG FISH

If any male star is known for originating roles on Broadway, it's Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz. From WICKED to DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, to tall tale-telling 'Edward Bloom,' Butz has proven time and time again that he's got the 'leading man' title in the bag.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Kate Baldwin and Norbert Leo Butz. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Matt Doyle as 'Elder Price'
THE BOOK OF MORMON

Matt Doyle made the stage transition from pubescent German schoolboy in SPRING AWAKENING to Mormon missionary with ease, going head-to-head with Ugandan war lords and his 'best friend,' Elder Cunningham, in Broadway's THE BOOK OF MORMON eight times a week.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Pictured (center): Nic Rouleau

Ryan Silverman as 'Billy Flynn'
CHICAGO

Ryan Silverman cooly stepped into the sleek role of the conniving, silver-tongued prince of the courtroom 'Billy Flynn' in Broadway's CHICAGO in August. Before razzle dazzling audiences at the Ambassador Theatre, Silverman starred in Stephen Sondheim's PASSION at Classic Stage Company, as well as 'Raoul' in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and CRY-BABY.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Ryan Silverman and Bianca Marroquin. Photo by Jessica Gordon.

Santino Fontana as 'The Prince'
RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA

Currently featured in Disney's hit animated feature FROZEN, Santino Fontana has been sweeping Broadway's starlet Laura Osnes off her feet nightly since CINDERELLA opened in March of this year. After his planned departure in early 2014, Fontana will star alongside Tony Shaloub as 'Moss Hart' in ACT ONE at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Zachary Levi as 'Aaron'
FIRST DATE

Making his Broadway debut, former CHUCK star Zachary Levi gussies up for a 'first date' with SMASH alum Krysta Rodriguez eight times a week. Since 'DATE' opened, Levi has garnered immense critical praise for his easy-going stage presence, plus his off-kilter ballad 'In Love With You' doesn't hurt his general likeability either.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Zachary Levi and Sara Chase. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Stark Sands as 'Charlie' and Billy Porter as 'Lola'
KINKY BOOTS

KINKY BOOTS' leading men, Stark Sands and Billy Porter, both nabbed Tony nominations earlier this year for starring in Jerry Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, and Harvey Fierstein's uplifting musical. While Porter took home the award for his turn as the inspiring - and equally glamorous 'Lola' - the duo continue to shine nightly in six-inch heels without a misstep.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Stark Sands and Billy Porter. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Dominic Scaglione Jr. and Joseph Leo Bwarie as 'Frankie Valli'
JERSEY BOYS

Dominic Scaglione Jr. and Joseph Leo Bwarie are the latest leading men to share the lead role of Four Seasons frontman 'Frankie Valli' in JERSEY BOYS. Before hitting Valli's signature notes on Broadway, Scaglione previously appeared in the Chicago and Las Vegas productions, while Bwarie starred in the first national tour of the show.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Matt Bogart, Dominic Scaglione Jr., Drew Gehling and Andy Karl.

Chris Hoch as 'Miss Trunchbull'
MATILDA THE MUSICAL

After stepping in for Craig Bierko, Chris Hoch has taken on the role of the Chokey-loving, child-throwing headmistress in Broadway's MATILDA with no trouble. Aside from the nasty 'Miss Trunchbull,' Hoch has a slew of other stage credits to his name, including LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, SPAMALOT, SHREK and more.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Pictured: Bertie Carvel. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Brandon Victor Dixon as 'Berry Gordy'
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL

In MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, Brandon Victor Dixon channels Motown Founder (and show creator) Berry Gordy, in his unbelievable journey from boxer to music mogul. Dixon was also featured in Broadway's THE COLOR PURPLE as 'Harpo.'

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Brandon Victor Dixon. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Corey Cott as 'Jack Kelly'
NEWSIES

Corey Cott succeeded SMASH star and Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan as 'Jack Kelly' in Disney's screen-to-stage adaptation of its hit 1990s musical NEWSIES. Cott had only just graduated from Carnegie Mellon University before scoring the role as the leader of the paperboy uprising.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Corey Cott. Photo by Jennifer Broski.

Paul Alexander Nolan as 'Guy'
ONCE

Paul Alexander Nolan only joined the cast of ONCE as crooning leading man 'Guy' this week, the same role which landed Steve Kazee a Tony Award in 2011. Nolan isn't new to playing infamous men on stage, however: in 2012, he took on the role of 'Jesus' in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Paul Alexander Nolan. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Hugh Panaro as 'The Phantom'
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Hugh Panaro is no amateur 'PHANTOM.' The acclaimed actor's journey with THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA began in 1989, when he first took on the role of 'Raoul' on Broadway. Panaro has played 'The Phantom' in three separate engagements for over 2,000 performances and counting. Before rejoining 'PHANTOM' in August, Panaro played 'Jean Valjean' in The St. Louis MUNY's production of LES MISERABLES this summer.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Hugh Panaro and Samantha Hill. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Matthew James Thomas as 'Pippin'
PIPPIN

British actor Matthew James Thomas web-slung from one side of the pond to the other in 2010 as the 'Peter Parker' alternate in SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK - but now, Thomas leads the Tony winning revival of PIPPIN as the show's titular character opposite leading lady Patina Miller.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Matthew James Thomas. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Aaron C. Finley as 'Drew'
ROCK OF AGES

Great White Way newcomer Aaron C. Finley recently made his Broadway debut as rocker-wannabe 'Drew' in ROCK OF AGES. Finley replaced Justin Matthew Sargent (featured below) in the role earlier this year. Before taking the lead role in 'ROCK,' Finley performed at some of the nation's most famous regional theaters, in productions of RENT, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, HAIRSPRAY, and more.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Pictured: Justin Matthew Sargent. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Justin Matthew Sargent as 'Peter Parker/Spider-Man'
SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK

Justin Matthew Sarget swung into the leading role of Broadway's SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK earlier this fall after original star Reeve Carney departed the production. Before donning Spidey's iconic costume for good, Sargent served as the role's alternate, following his stint in ROCK OF AGES.

A Stage of Their Own: This Season's Leading Men Light Up Broadway
Justin Matthew Sargent. Photo by Jennifer Broski.

Kyle Dean Massey as 'Fiyero'
WICKED

Kyle Dean Massey is no stranger to Oz. The former NEXT TO NORMAL and XANADU star returned to Broadway's WICKED as 'Fiyero' just this week, succeeding up-and-comer Derek Klena, who departed for the upcoming stage adaptation of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY.

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