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10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade

Will your favorite make the list?

Much has changed on Broadway over the past ten years, including the incredible roster of talent that fills Playbill after Playbill. We have mourned the loss of some of Broadway's brightest stars, and welcomed new talents, who have taken the theatre scene by storm.

While we salute each and every person who has played in a part in the Broadway experience (both onstage or off), BroadwayWorld is shining a spotlight on ten stars who had a particularly killer decade.


Jessie Mueller

Jessie Mueller was a little-known performer from Chicago when she made her Broadway debut in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever in 2011. Since then, she has taken Broadway by storm, appearing in three Broadway revivals (Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Carousel) and creating two original characters (Beautiful and Waitress)- the former of which earned her a Tony Award in 2014. Earlier this year, she starred opposite Megan Hilty in Lifetime's Patsy & Loretta and in 2020, she returns to Broadway for the seventh time in nine years in Tracy Letts' new play, The Minutes.

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade


Billy Porter

Through he's been treading the boards of Broadway since 1994 in Grease, Porter's career got an electric jolt after the world saw his portrayal of Lola in Kinky Boots in 2013, which earned him a Tony Award and Grammy Award. Porter went on to star in Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, released two solo albums (Billy's Back on Broadway and Billy Porter Presents the Soul of Richard Rodgers), appeared in American Horror Story Apocalypse, and won and Emmy Award for his portrayal of Pray Tell on FX's Pose- a role for which he just earned a 2020 Golden Globe nomination. Coming up, he'll play the Fairy Godmother in Sony's remake of Cinderella, opposite Idina Menzel and Camilla Cabello.

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade


Ben Platt

The world first came to know Ben Platt in the 2012 cult-favorite Pitch Perfect, in which he played lovable dork, Benji. Later that year, Platt made his Broadway debut as Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon and began working on an untitled project by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, which would later become Dear Evan Hansen. Platt played the title character throughout the musical's journey to Broadway, winning critical acclaim and eventually, Tony and Grammy Awards. Earlier this year, Platt released his first solo album, Sing to Me Instead, and earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance on the Netfilx series The Politician. Over the course of the next twelve years, Platt will film for the film adaptation of Merrily We Roll Along, in which he'll play Charlie.

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade


Laurie Metcalf

Since 2013's The Other Place, Laurie Metcalf has led five Broadway shows, including Misery, A Dolls House Part 2, Three Tall Women, and Hillary and Clinton. She earned Tony nominations for all five and Tony Awards for two in 2017 and 2018. Over the last two years, Laurie revived her Rosanne character, Jackie, in The Connors, and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Lady Bird. In 2020, she returns to the stage yet again in the Edward Albee classic, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade


Idina Menzel

Already a Broadway icon for her performances in Rent and Wicked, Idina kicked off the decade touring the world with her Barefoot at the Symphony concert tour. In 2013, Menzel lent her voice to a project that would become the highest-grossing animated film of all time, Frozen, in which, she sang "Let It Go". In 2014, she returned to Broadway for the first time in a decade in If/Then, a performance that earned her a Tony nomination. In the past decade, Idina has released five solo albums, including this year's Christmas: A Season of Love. She also returns to the big screen this holiday season as Queen Elsa in Frozen 2, which has already grossed $1B worldwide.

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade



James Corden

While British audience came to know Corden for his performance on the BBC Three sitcom Gavin & Stacey, he first rose to international acclaim for his Tony-winning performance in the 2011 play One Man, Two Guvnors. In 2014, he let his musical talents shine, starring as the Baker in the big screen adaptation of Into the Woods. The following year, he took over Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show, bringing hysterical sketch series like Carpool Karaoke and Crosswalk: the musical to the mainstream. In the past four years, Corden has hosted the Tony Awards twice (2016 and 2019) and the Grammy Awards twice (2017 and 2018). This holiday season he stars as Bustopher Jones in the film adaptation of Cats. In 2020, he will star as Barry Glickman in Netflix's The Prom, and in 2021, he will write and produce a remake of Cinderella.

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade



Cynthia Erivo

Not until 2015, when she appropriately sang "I'm Here" did the world fully take notice of Cynthia Erivo. The British actress made her debut that season in The Color Purple, earning a Tony and Grammy Award for her performance as Celie. Since then, she's taken her act to Hollywood, appearing in the heist film Widows and the thriller Bad Times at the El Royale, both in 2018. This year, she returned to the big screen as abolitionist icon Harriet Tubman in Harriet- a performance that has earned her two Golden Globe nominations for best Actress in a Drama and Best Original Song ("Stand Up"). In 2020 she will star in HBO's The Outsider miniseries and science fiction film Chaos Walking.

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade



Hugh Jackman

Already known to the world for his performances as Wolverine and Peter Allen, Hugh Jackman kicked of the decade with a one-man return to Broadway in the adequately named, Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway. The following year, Jackman earned acclaim for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper's big screen adaptation of Les Miserables. Jackman hosted the Tony Awards for the fourth time in 2014. In addition to appearing in Eddie the Eagle, Logan, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men Apocalypse, Pan, and Prisoners, he starred in his second big screen musical of the decade, The Greatest Showman, in 2017. Over the last year, Jackman has been touring the world with is concert, The Man. The Music. The Show. In 2020, he's back on Broadway as Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man.

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade


Audra McDonald

For her performance in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill in 2014, Audra made history as the only actor to ever win six Tonys in performance categories and the only actor to win in all four performance categories. In the last decade, she has appeared in three other Broadway productions (The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune). Audra starred in the first of many live televisions musicals whenn she played Mother Superior in The Sound of Music Live in 2013. In addition to regular appearances on Private Practice, Sesame Street, The Good Wife and The Good Fight, Audra created a new character for Disney's 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast- Madame Garderobe. In 2020 she will reunite with Brian Stokes Mitchell to perform in a one-night-only benefit concert for the Actors Fund.

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade


Lin-Manuel Miranda

He certainly hasn't thrown away his shot. After bursting onto the scene in 2008 with his hit musical In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda went back to work. He kicked off the decade as a creator of Bring It On, which landed on Broadway in 2012. In addition to starring in two Encores! productions (Merrily We Roll Along and tick...tick...BOOM!) he made appearances on shows like Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, and Do No Harm. Since his mega-hit musical Hamilton took the world by storm in 2015, Miranda has been everywhere, writing music for Disney's Moana (2016), hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live (2016), starring in Mary Poppins Returns (2018), and producing FX's Fosse/Verdon (2019). In the past ten years, Miranda has won two Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, two Olivier Awards, an Emmy Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a Pulitzer Prize.

He is currently in HBO's His Dark Materials, while producing (and occasionally appearing in) Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway. Coming up next, he'll make his directorial debut for Netflix's adaptation of tick...tick.. BOOM! and will write new songs for Disney's remake of The Little Mermaid. In June, the project that started it all, In the Heights, will hit the big screen, with an appearance from Miranda as Piragua Guy.

10 Broadway Stars Who Ruled the Decade



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