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Performers Success in Other Countries

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fashionguru_23
Broadway Legend
joined:4/21/08
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/21/08

Performers Success in Other Countries

#1
Posted: 2/19/21 at 8:26am

I was reading that Marisha Wallace is doing the virtual production of Brooklyn, and it made me think about performers who have "shone brigher" or have achieved more success in other countries.

Marisha Wallace, for example, was a stand out in her ensmble roles on Broadway, but goes to London and gets starring roles on the West End in Watriess, and Dreamgirls. 

Are there any others you can think of?

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imeldasturn
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/14
Broadway Star | Joined: 12/8/14

Performers Success in Other Countries

#2
Posted: 2/19/21 at 8:57am

Angela Lanbsury and Rosemary Harris are British Broadway stars that have done relatively little on the English stage and owe their success to the roles they played in American TV, cinema and theatre productions. Gertrude Lawrence and Glynis Johns were/are arguably bigger in America than in the UK too.

Tim Flavin was one of the West End leading men in the 80s and 90s, while his Broadway credits are not many and not very important. And it looks like he might have been the first American actor to win an Olivier Award, a couple of years before LuPone. 

Kim Criswell was fairly active both on Broadway and in US tours during the 80s, but ever since the 90s she moved to the UK and got some of her biggest roles on the London stages, including an Olivier nomination for Annie Get Your Gun. 

Not unlike Marissa, Ako Mitchell is American, but for many years he was virtually the only black leading man in London, starring in Sister Act, Ragtime, The Wild Party etc. And similarly, Joe Aaron Reid played only ensemble/small roles on Broadway (Chicago, Catch Me If You Can, Ghost, If/Then, Finian's Rainbow, Curtains) but got leading roles in the London production of In the Heights and Dreamgirls. Generally speaking, it looks like many American actors of color benefit from a general lack of diversity among British performers - and good for them!

Colm Wilkinson is Irish, but found success in London and later on in the US and Canada. Eva Noblezada herself got her big break in London, which allowed her to "make it" on Broadway. Lea Salonga's name too was - at least for a while - bigger in London and on Broadway then in the Philippines, in which she became a star in later years. I also wouldn't be surprised if Jon Jon Briones were better known in the States (due to MS and Ryan Murphy stuff) than in the Philippines. 

Ethan Freeman is American, but he has become a musical theatre star in Austria and, similarly, Frank Wildhorn has shone brighter in the German-speaking world than on Broadway. 

Updated On: 2/19/21 at 08:57 AM
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JBroadway
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joined:4/6/12
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/6/12

Performers Success in Other Countries

#3
Posted: 2/19/21 at 9:38am

I often think of Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo, probably because of their frequent collaborations with ALW in London, but both actors have done other stuff there as well. 

I believe Kyle Soller - recent star of The Inheritance - is an American who primarily works in the London theatre, but I guess there's a difference between "finding more success in the UK" vs just being a working actor who ended up being based in the UK for one reason or another.

Also, I assume we're just talking about theatre actors, because obviously we can name a million foreign actors who found stardom in Hollywood.  

@Imeldasturn - I always assumed that Kim Criswell was British! That's funny! 

 

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imeldasturn
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joined:12/8/14
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#4
Posted: 2/19/21 at 9:51am

JBroadway said: "I guess there's a difference between "finding more success in the UK" vs just being a working actor who ended up being based in the UK for one reason or another."

This is definitely true, but it's also true that it's not always easy to make this distinction. People like Nureyev, Yul Brynner, Tom Stoppard and even Ramin Karimloo fled from their native countries to escape dictatorships, but people like Marisha Wallace, Joe Aaron Reid and others probably moved to the UK because they could get bigger and better roles, so it's not always easy to treat the whole "finding more success in the UK vs ending up being based in the UK" as two discrete categories, since there might be a big deal of overlapping.

But yeah, Kyle Soller studied at RADA so the transition to the London stage was sort of inevitable, so he definitely belongs to the latter. 

Updated On: 2/19/21 at 09:51 AM
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JBroadway
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#5
Posted: 2/19/21 at 10:06am

Good point.

Another thing about Ramin Karimloo that I'm now realizing: He actually grew up in Canada (which I did know), but I don't know what led him to move to the UK. Looking at his Wikipedia, it seems that he moved there in his early 20s, and started out playing small roles on the stage. So whatever brought him there didn't seem to be success. 

MannPhan24601
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joined:11/4/15
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#6
Posted: 2/19/21 at 10:17am
I believe Ramin moved to the UK after he got married . His wife Mandy is british and they met performing on a cruise ship . They live in the UK with their teenage sons. He fled from Iran as a toddler to Canada with his parents and grew up in Toronto I beleive .
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Call_me_jorge
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joined:1/9/15
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#7
Posted: 2/19/21 at 3:15pm
I wonder if Marisha Wallace is sticking to West End theatre by choice. I’m sure, had she been living in New York she would have been cast in the Broadway production of Waitress in a snap. Similarly, Trevor Dion Nichols has made a career over there. After finishing Aladdin he jumped right into Hamilton as Washington. Lauren Ward, originally from Nebraska, is in London full time and married to Matthew Warchus. There was also a period of time when Gavin Creel was mostly doing theatre in London.
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VotePeron
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#8
Posted: 2/19/21 at 5:56pm

Call_me_jorge said: "I wonder if Marisha Wallace is sticking to West End theatre by choice. I’m sure, had she been living in New York she would have been cast in the Broadway production of Waitress in a snap."

Actually, Marisha has said that she auditioned for Waitress on Broadway pre-Dreamgirls and did not get it. She's also starring as Motormouth Maybelle in the upcoming West End Hairspray, and has been doing a lot of concerts. They love her over there, I'm really happy she's found such success.

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Bettyboy72
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joined:3/31/06
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#9
Posted: 2/19/21 at 6:51pm
Audrey Landers is a huge draw in Germany and Europe. She made her millions there. She can’t even get a Pops gig in the US but can sell out theatres in Europe. I think she’s an under appreciated talent.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
jo
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joined:5/15/03
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#10
Posted: 2/19/21 at 9:58pm

"Lea Salonga's name too was - at least for a while - bigger in London and on Broadway then in the Philippines, in which she became a star in later years. I also wouldn't be surprised if Jon Jon Briones were better known in the States (due to MS and Ryan Murphy stuff) than in the Philippines. "

Lea was a stage prodigy since she was small. We always remembered how she sang TOMORROW from ANNIE which she starred in, in the same repertory company which gave the original London MISS SAIGON many of its Asian cast ( incl Lea and Jon-jon).  She also appeared in quite a few local movies as a teenage star...and later on in more adult fare.  Over the years, she has released a number of CDs, some in our native language (very haunting and beautiful) including when she was very young. It is a wrong perception to say that she became more well-known elsewhere than she has always been in her homeland.

Updated On: 2/19/21 at 09:58 PM
jo
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joined:5/15/03
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#11
Posted: 2/19/21 at 10:10pm

At around 1'45", 9-year old Lea Salonga is introduced by the host performer.

Lea singing TOMORROW --

 

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ggersten
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#12
Posted: 2/19/21 at 10:19pm
David Bedella has several major roles in West End and three Olivier Awards and FrankNFurter in Ricky Horror Show many many times including the one at Playhouse which was filmed. He had dine US tours of JCSuperstar and OBC of Smokey Joe’s Cafe before relocating to UK in 2001.
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LizzieCurry
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#13
Posted: 2/21/21 at 11:52pm

Drew Sarich! An American from Missouri who was well-known in Europe before he made his Broadway debut in Lestat. Then he did the first Les Miz revival on Broadway where he understudied basically everyone but Gavroche, and has lived in Europe for a decade (or more?) at this point, now having been in Sister Act, Love Never Dies, Tanz der Vampire, many productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, etc...

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cliffordbradshaw2
Understudy
joined:3/2/15
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Performers Success in Other Countries

#14
Posted: 2/22/21 at 12:44am

And Drew Sarich was the star of the world premiere of Ahrens and Flaherty's "Rocky," in Germany.