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Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1

Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1

Jennifer Ashley Tepper Is answering your questions with Broadway Deep Dive!

Dying to know more about an obscure Broadway fact? Broadway historian and self-proclaimed theatre nerd Jennifer Ashley Tepper is here to help with her new series, Broadway Deep Dive. Every month, BroadwayWorld will be accepting questions from theatre fans like you. If you're lucky, your question might be selected as the topic of her next column!

Today's question is: Who has worn the most hats on Broadway- director, producer, writer, actor, etc.?

Here are a few folks that could hold a record for the "number of hats" they've worn on Broadway shows.

Part one includes those who have worn four or five hats on Broadway shows and part two will include those who have held even more positions than that!

Four Hats Club

Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1 Michael Arden

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Multi-hyphenate Michael Arden is at the helm of this season's A Christmas Carol, which stars Jefferson Mays and will open in November.

Sara Bareilles

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Composer, Lyricist, Orchestrator

Waitress' Sara Bareilles put on a different kind of hat, starring in this season's Into the Woods revival.

Nora Bayes

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Composer, Lyricist, Producer

An influencer in the first three decades of the 20th century, Nora Bayes was the central character of the novel Smash, which the TV show was based on. (The show adjusted to use Marilyn Monroe instead.)

Martin Charnin

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Director, Lyricist, Writer

Beloved for his lyrics and direction of Annie, Charnin also originated the role of Big Deal in West Side Story.

Howard Da Silva

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Originating the role of Benjamin Franklin in 1776 was the grand finale in Da Silva's Broadway career, which spanned 40 years.

Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1 Graciela Daniele

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Choreographer, Director, Writer

Lifetime achievement Tony Award recipient Daniele worked with both Michael Bennett and Bob Fosse as a dancer before going on to direct and/or choreograph her own productions including The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Once On This Island, and Ragtime.

Scott Ellis

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Associate Artistic Director, Director, Writer

Ellis went from ensemble member in Kander & Ebb's The Rink, to conceiving and directing the Kander & Ebb revue And The World Goes 'Round, to a prolific career as a Broadway director including his ongoing work at Roundabout.

Bob Fosse

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Choreographer, Director, Writer

Broadway legend Fosse was often considered an auteur, contributing above and beyond to the work he directed and choreographed, from Pippin to Chicago and beyond.

George Gershwin

Hat Count: 4
Composer, Conductor, Lyricist, Writer

It was a high society event to be there when genius George Gershwin conducted his own musicals, such as Girl Crazy.

Micki Grant

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Composer, Lyricist, Writer

The first woman to write all three (book, music and lyrics) for a Broadway musical, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, Grant also starred in the show.

Adam Guettel

Hat Count: 4
Assistant to the Music Director/ Synthesizer Consultant, Composer, Lyricist, Orchestrator

Not many know that Tony Award-winning Light in the Piazza scribe Guettel made his Broadway debut assisting the music director of Song and Dance.

Oscar Hammerstein II

Hat Count: 4
Director, Lyricist, Producer, Writer

In addition to changing the art form of musical theatre forever through the innovations of Show Boat, Oklahoma!, Carousel, and more, Hammerstein also directed and produced work by himself and others.

Rosetta LeNoire

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Choreographer, Producer, Writer

Most well known throughout America for her role as Mother Winslow on the TV show Family Matters, LeNoire had a long career (1939 to 1982!) in the theatre, as founder of Amas Repertory Theatre Company and a leader in racial equity in casting.

Alan Jay Lerner

Hat Count: 4
Director, Lyricist, Producer, Writer

The writer of My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Brigadoon also produced and directed some of his own work.

Frank Loesser

Hat Count: 4
Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Writer

Like the other major writers on this list who became impresarios and added producer to their list of hats, Loesser was a producer on both shows of his own (How To Succeed, Guys and Dolls) and shows of others (The Music Man).

Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1 Hal Prince

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Director, Producer, Stage Manager

The winner of 21 Tony Awards during a legendary career on Broadway, director-producer Prince started out as a stage manager-and even performed on a rare occasion early in his career.

Ann Reinking

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Choreographer, Director, Writer

Partner and frequent collaborator of Bob Fosse, Reinking starred in several of his shows and several other productions before carrying forward his work as director/choreographer in Fosse and the Chicago revival.

Neil Simon

Hat Count: 4
Lyricist, Producer, Theatre Owner, Writer

King of the blockbuster Broadway comedy, Simon was also for a time the owner of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

Stephen Sondheim

Hat Count: 4
Arranger, Composer, Lyricist, Writer

A prolific composer and lyricist, Sondheim more rarely held other positions, including as an additional arranger on the 2009 West Side Story revival and as co-writer of the thriller Getting Away With Murder.

Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1 Susan Stroman

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Choreographer, Director, Writer

Powerful director-choreographer Stroman (The Producers, Crazy For You, Contact, The Scottsboro Boys) has participated as a conceiver in several of her shows.

Lee Strasberg

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Director, Producer, Theatre Owner

Strasberg was a founding member of The Group Theatre, director of The Actors Studio, and the father of method acting.

Jule Styne

Hat Count: 4
Composer, Director, Producer, Writer

From his office atop the Mark Hellinger Theatre, Styne (Funny Girl, Gypsy), one of the Golden Age's greatest composers, worked in multiple capacities.

Dana Suesse

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Composer, Lyricist, Writer

Nicknamed "The Girl Gershwin", Suesse was a prolific writer of Broadway musicals, symphonies, and concert pieces.

Tommy Tune

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Choreographer, Director, Production Supervisor

Director-choreographer and nine-time Tony Award-winner Tommy Tune got his start as a performer, stealing the scene in shows like Seesaw.

Orson Welles

Hat Count: 4
Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Famed filmmaker Welles was also known for his Broadway work, on shows including the original Cradle Will Rock and multiple productions with the Federal Theatre Project and Mercury Theatre.

Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1 George C. Wolfe

Hat Count: 4
Director, Lyricist, Producer, Writer

One of his generation's leading directors of both plays (Angels in America, Topdog/Underdog, The Normal Heart) and musicals (Jelly's Last Jam, Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk, Caroline, or Change, Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed), Wolfe has also contributed to his shows as a writer and as a producer at The Public Theater.

Five Hats Club

George Abbott

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Choreographer, Director, Producer, Writer

Abbott made his Broadway debut as an actor in 1913 and was still working on Broadway in the 1990s! In between, he was responsible as director or writer for such classic shows as Fiorello!, The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Jerry Adler

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Director, Producer, Production Supervisor, Stage Manager

Unique in his trajectory, Adler worked on Broadway as a stage manager, producer, production supervisor and director on over 30 productions starting in 1949, before making his debut as an actor in 2000.

Michael Bennett

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Choreographer, Director, Producer, Writer

A Chorus Line creator Bennett might've added theatre owner to his list of hats, as he was looking to operate a Broadway theater at the time of his death from AIDS at the age of 44.

June Carroll

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Assistant to the Producer, Composer, Lyricist, Writer

A staple on the revue scene from the 1930s through the 1960s, Carroll was integral to the New Faces series.

Cheryl Crawford

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Director, Producer, Stage Manager, Theatre Owner

Crawford held a significant number of different jobs at The Theatre Guild before becoming a founder and leader of The Group Theatre.

Ken Davenport

Hat Count: 5
Company Manager, General Manager, Marketing, Producer, Writer

Ken Davenport got his start as a company manager, before becoming a Tony Award-winning producer who also works as a general manager, marketer and writer.

Lehman Engel

Hat Count: 5
Arranger, Composer, Music Director, Music Supervisor, Orchestrator

The influential founder of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, Engel had hands-on experience on Broadway as a multi-hyphenate as well.

Moss Hart

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Director, Theatre Owner, Producer, Writer

Is it any wonder that the writer of Act One wound up wearing multiple hats in the chaotic theatre world?

Larry Hochman

Hat Count: 5
Arranger, Music Director, Musician, Orchestrator, Programmer

Having orchestrated over 20 Broadway productions, Hochman counts among his credits Spamalot, The Book of Mormon, and The Scottsboro Boys.

Rupert Holmes

Hat Count: 5
Arranger, Composer, Lyricist, Orchestrator, Writer

Do you like piña coladas? Then you'll love The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which has book, music, lyrics, and orchestrations all by Holmes.

J. Rosamond Johnson

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Composer, Conductor, Lyricist, Producer

Largely a popular composer and lyricist, Johnson also conducted, produced, and performed in addition to his work as an activist and editor.

Elia Kazan

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Director, Producer, Stage Manager, Theatre Owner

The director of some of the most important plays of the 20th century including All My Sons, Death of Salesman, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Kazan was also known for his film direction.

Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1 Michael John LaChiusa

Hat Count: 5
Arranger, Composer, Lyricist, Orchestrator, Writer

The prolific LaChiusa has worked in five different capacities on his Broadway and off-Broadway shows, which include The Wild Party, Marie Christine, Hello Again, Giant, Maid of the Mist, and First Daughter Suite.

Billy Johnson

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Writer

Johnson held five different positions on the historic A Trip to Coontown, the first Broadway musical entirely written and owned by Black artists.

Glen Kelly

Hat Count: 5
Arranger, Composer, Lyricist, Music Supervisor, Musician

Among other things, masterful arranger Kelly is the secret musical weapon behind the success of the comedic blockbusters The Producers, Spamalot, and The Book of Mormon.

Aubrey Lyles

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Director, Lyricist, Producer, Writer

All four of the Shuffle Along creators, including Lyles, wore at least five hats on Broadway, a testament to their talent and to the multi-tasking they committed to in order to succeed.

John McDaniel

Hat Count: 5
Arranger, Music Director, Music Supervisor, Orchestrator, Producer

Emmy Award-winning John McDaniel is well known for both TV and theatre work, with credits on Broadway including Grease (1994 revival), Patti LuPone on Broadway, Taboo, and more.

Richard Maltby, Jr.

Hat Count: 5
Director, Lyricist, Producer, Production Supervisor, Writer

The lyricist of shows including Starting Here, Starting Now, Closer Than Ever, Baby, Big, and Miss Saigon is also well-known for his direction including the creation of Ain't Misbehavin' and productions from Song and Dance to Fosse.

Mel Marvin

Hat Count: 5
Arranger, Composer, Conductor, Music Supervisor, Writer

The composer of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas' other credits include writing incidental music and arrangements for Applause and conducting and arranging Tintypes.

Flournoy Miller

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Director, Lyricist, Producer, Writer

Aubrey Lyles' creative partner in vaudeville and beyond, including the landmark Shuffle Along, Miller went on to work as a writer and performer on Lew Leslie's Blackbirds, future iterations of Shuffle Along, and more.

Agnes Morgan

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Director, Lyricist, Producer, Writer

From the 1910s through the 1940s, Morgan was at the helm of dozens of Broadway and Neighborhood Playhouse productions, mostly as director, writer, or lyricist.

Mike Nichols

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Director, Producer, Production Supervisor, Writer

An EGOT winner and one of the most successful multi-hyphenates of his generation, Nichols' Broadway career spanned over 50 years.

Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1 Jack O'Brien

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Director, Lyricist, Producer, Writer

Not many know that the immensely successful, five-time Tony Award-winning O'Brien also wrote lyrics for two Broadway productions: the musical The Selling of the President and the play Pantagleize, which had quick runs in 1972 and 1968, respectively.

Laurence Olivier

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Composer, Director, Producer, Production Designer

One of the leading actors of his era on the West End and Broadway, Olivier also directed and produced-and on rare occasions, even composed and designed.

Cynthia Onrubia

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Artistic Associate, Associate Choreographer, Associate Director, Dance Supervisor

A performer in shows including A Chorus Line, Dancin', and Cats, Onrubia's other credits include associate choreography for the long-running 1998 Cabaret revival, and re-creating that choreography for the 2014 revival.

Jerome Robbins

Hat Count: 5
Actor, Choreographer, Director, Producer, Writer

Commanding director-choreographer Robbins (Peter Pan, Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, ...Forum, West Side Story, Gypsy) got his start as a performer, and participated as producer or conceiver in several of his shows.

Richard Rodgers

Hat Count: 5
Composer, Lyricist, Music Director, Producer, Writer

Rodgers began working on Broadway as a composer in the 1910s, and over a century later, his work is still heard in theaters all over the world every day, in shows including Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.

Who Has Worn the Most Hats on Broadway? Part 1 Jeanine Tesori

Hat Count: 5
Arranger, Associate Conductor, Composer, Musician, Producer

Tesori started out as an arranger, associate conductor, and musician on Broadway, before becoming the Tony Award-winning composer of Fun Home, Caroline, or Change, Shrek, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and this season's Kimberly Akimbo.

Check back next month for Part II!


Notes:

-Book writers, conceivers, playwrights, translators, etc. all elicit the term "Writer".

-Assistant and associate credits only count as a separate hat if the individual never held another position in that field.

-Musician is separate from music director only when there are productions where the individual has occupied solely the role of musician.

-There are integral production credits that are not listed online, including stagehands, musicians, and assistant positions in various departments. These lists are therefore not without unintentional omissions.


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