Best performances you've seen

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Best performances you've seen#1
Posted: 7/29/07 at 12:59am
What are the 20 best individual performances (10 male and 10 female) you've seen live? Here are mine.

1. Ted Keegan in The Phantom of the Opera
2. Nathan Lane in The Producers
3. Matthew Broderick in The Producers
4. Gary Beach in The Producers
5. Roger Bart in The Producers
6. Norbert Leo Butz in Wicked
7. Joel Grey in Wicked
8. Christopher Fitzgerald in Wicked
9. Jerry O'Boyle in Hairspray
10. John Dossett in Gypsy

1. Bernadette Peters in Gypsy
2. Katie Clarke in The Light in the Piazza
3. Tammy Blanchard in Gypsy
4. Carole Shelley in Wicked
5. Idina Menzel in Wicked
6. Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked
7. Kim Stengel in The Phantom of the Opera
8. Julie Hanson in The Phantom of the Opera
9. Darcie Roberts in Thoroughly Modern Millie
10. Brooklynn Pulver in Hairspray
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#2
Posted: 7/29/07 at 1:43am
I am limiting this to Broadway only...

Christine in GG
Victoria in Piazza
Audra in 110
Bernadette in Gypsy
Julia in Wicked
Sutton in LW
Marin in KMK
Carolee in KMK
Beth Southard in POTO
Shirley Jones in 42nd

Stokes in MOLM
Stokes in KMK
Alfred in Fiddler
Harvey in Fiddler
Michael in Sweeney
Raul in Chitty (yes, I said it)
Michael in DotV (ditto)
Aaron in Piazza
Hunter in Producers
Nathan in Frogs

subject to change
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Broadway Star
Broadway Star
re: Best performances you've seen#2
Posted: 7/29/07 at 1:53am
1. Christopher Plummer in Othello
2. Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon
3. Michael Sheen in Frost/Nixon
4. Peter Friedman in Ragtime
5. Michael Cerveris in Sweeney Todd
6. Neil Patrick Harris in Cabaret
7. Raul Esparza in The Normal Heart
8. Morgan Freeman in Taming of the Shrew
9. Michael Jeter in Grand Hotel
10.James Earl Jones in Othello

1. Tyne Daly in Gypsy
2. Christine Ebersole in Grey Gardens
3. Joanna Gleason in Into the Woods
4. Audra McDonald in Ragtime
5. Patti LuPone in Sweeney Todd
6. Zoe Caldwell in Master Class
7. Meryl Streep in Mother Courage
8. Meryl Streep in The Seagull
9. Maggie Smith in Lettice and Lovage
10.Linda Mugleston (as Lili, understudy for Marin Mazzie)in Kiss Me Kate
I killed the boss, you don't think they're gonna fire me over a thing like that!!!!
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re: Best performances you've seen#3
Posted: 7/29/07 at 1:58am
1-Hugh Panaro in Phantom (Don't mock me, ha)
2-Hunter Foster in The Producers
3-Norbert Leo Butz in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
4-Joel Grey in Wicked (just because)
5-Harvey Fierstein in Hairspray
6-Marc Kudisch in The Apple Tree
7-David Hyde Pierce in Spamalot
8-Hank Azaria in Spamalot
9-Tim Curry in Spamalot
10-Matt Cavenaugh in Grey Gardens (he's adorable...ok?)

1-Christine Ebersole in Grey Gardens
2-Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked
3-Bernadette Peters in Gypsy
4-Sutton Foster in Thoroughly Modern Millie
5-Lauren Kennedy in Spamalot
6-Christine Ebersole in 42nd Street
7-Kristin Chenoweth in The Apple Tree
8-Beth Leavel in The Drowsy Chaperone
9-Mary Louise Wilson in Grey Gardens
10-Idina Menzel in Wicked
Subtle...but sassy!
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#4
Posted: 7/29/07 at 6:27am
Male (in leading roles):
Bill Irwin, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?
Liev Schrieber, Talk Radio
Christopher Plummer, King Lear
Billy Crudup, Coast of Utopia and Pillow Man
Norbert Leo Butz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Jonathan Pryce, My Fair Lady
Nathan Lane, The Producers
Raul Espraza, Company
Antonio Banderas, Nine
Harvey Fierstein, Hairspray

Female (in leading roles):
Debbie Shapiro Gravitte- Tenderloin (for the reason of being purely starstruck)
Donna Murphy- Follies, The King and I, Passion, Love Musik (Wow!)
Marin Mazzie- Kiss Me Kate and Man of La Mancha
Kathleen Turner- Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf
Julie White- Little Dog Laughed
Patti Lupone- Gypsy and Sweeney Todd
Sonia Swaby- Oliver!
Louise Pitre- Mamma Mia
Christine Ebersole- Grey Gardens
Victoria Clark- Follies and Light in the Piazza

Updated On: 3/10/08 at 06:27 AM
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#5
Posted: 7/29/07 at 7:02am
Male (in supporting roles):
Marc Kudisch- Assassins, The Apple Tree, and No Strings
Brent Barrett- On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Roger Bart- You're a Good Man Charlie Brown and The Producers
Michael Berresse- Kiss Me Kate
Gary Beach- The Producers
Boyd Gaines- Gypsy
Dennis O'Hare- Assassins
Alan Alda- Glen Garry Glen Ross
Jason Tam- A Chorus Line
*James Naughton*- Chicago, this is considered a leading one though

Female (in supporting roles):
Laura Benanti- Gypsy, Nine, The Secret Garden, and Into The Woods
Valarie Pettiford- Fosse
Kristin Chenoweth- Wicked and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown
Jennifer Ehle- Coast of Utopia
Mary Louise Wilson- Grey Gardens
Christine Baranski- Follies
Emily Skinner- No Strings
Natalie Venetia Belcon- Avenue Q and Rent
Christine Ebersole- A Connecticut Yankee
Amy Spanger- Kiss Me Kate

Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#6
Posted: 7/29/07 at 12:19pm
Oh Man..

Michael Cerveris- LoveMusik, Sweeney, King Lear, Assassins
Boyd Gaines- Gypsy
Stark Sands- Journey's End
Alexander Gemingnani- Les Mis
Harvey Fierstien- Hairspray
Joel Grey- Wicked
John McMartin- Into the Woods

Patti LuPone- Gypsy
Donna Murphy- Follies, LoveMusik
Elaine Stritch- At Liberty
Victoria Clark- Follies
Bernadette Peters- Gypsy
Laura Benanti- Into the Woods
Idina Menzel- Wicked
"I wouldn't let Esparza's Bobby take my kids to the zoo...I'd be afraid he'd steal their ice cream and laugh."- YankeeFan
"People who like Sondheim enjoy cruelty."-LuvtheEmcee
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#7
Posted: 7/29/07 at 12:27pm
i'm gonna limit mine to 5 each:

Norbert Leo Butz - DIrty Rotten Scoundrels
Tim Howar - Rent
Colm WIlkinson - Les Miserables
Adam Pascal - Aida
Ted Keegan - The Phantom of the Opera

Sherie Rene Scott - Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Idina Menzel - Aida
Natasha Richardson - A Streetcar Named Desire
Julie Murney - Wicked
Bernadette Peters -Gypsy
Stephanie D'Abruzzo - Avenue Q
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#8
Posted: 7/29/07 at 12:27pm
Too many to name, but the ones that come instantly to mind:

Harvey Fierstein in Torch Song Trilogy
Harvey Firestein in Hairspray
Tyne Daly in Gypsy
Yul Brynner in The King and I
Christine Ebersole in Grey Gardens
Elizabeth Ashley in Agnes of God
Geraldine Page in Agnes of God
Maryann Plunkett in Agnes of God
James Earl Jones in Fences
Mary Alice in Fences
Cherry Jones in The Heiress
Cherry Jones in Doubt
Michael Crawford in Phantom of the Opera
Brian Stokes Mitchell in Ragtime

Okay, I'm stopping before my head hurts...
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
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Broadway Star
Broadway Star
re: Best performances you've seen#9
Posted: 7/29/07 at 12:30pm
Christine Ebersole- GG
Beth Leavel- DC
Bernadette Peters in Concert
Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgirls (last weekend... it was hilarious, but she wasn't trying to be)
Brandi Chavonne Massey as Lorrell in Dreamgirls... it was incredible

no guys for me... crushes get in the way too much and impair my judgement... because i started making this list and paul mcgill and josh strickland topped it and i knew that just wasnt right
It's the music and I'm its hapless victim
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#10
Posted: 7/29/07 at 12:34pm
Hugh Panaro in Company (& Phantom and others as well, but Bobby was my top favorite)
Kevin Spacey in The Iceman Cometh
David Burnham in The Light in the Piazza
Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz
Hugo Weaving in Hedda Gabler
Raul Esparza in Company
Terrence Mann in Beauty & the Beast
Bradley Dean in Company
Brian Dennehey in Death of a Salesman
Michael Emerson in The Iceman Cometh

Patti LuPone in Gypsy
Eve Best in A Moon For the Misbegotten
Cate Blanchett in Hedda Gabler
Judy Kaye in Souvenir
Susan Owen in The Phantom of the Opera (understudy for Christine)
Julie White in The Little Dog Laughed
Victoria Clark in The Light in the Piazza
Shelly Burch in Company
Kendra Kassebaum in Company
Kris Koop in The Phantom of the Opera (understudy for Christine)
"It's Phantom meets Hamlet... Phamlet!"
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#11
Posted: 7/29/07 at 12:37pm
I am limiting mine to Broadway...

Jefferson Mays- I am My Own Wife
Cherry Jones- Doubt
Audra McDonald- 110 in the Shade
Victoria Clark- The Light in the Piazza
Bernadette Peters- Gypsy
Christine Ebersole- Grey Gardens
Brian Stokes Mitchell- Man of La Mancha

However, some of the best performances I have seen have been in regional theatre.
"Why do you care what people might say? Why try to fit into their design?" (Side Show)
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#12
Posted: 7/29/07 at 12:51pm
Bernadette Peters- Gypsy
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Alfre Molina - Fiddler on the roof
Norbert Leo Butz - Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Marc Kurdish - Witches of Eastwick
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#13
Posted: 7/29/07 at 1:00pm
Christine Ebersole in Grey Gardens
Audra McDonald in 110 in the Shade
Raul Esparza in Company
Erin Davie in Grey Gardens
Barbara Walsh in Company
Mary Louise Wilson in Grey Gardens
Patti LuPone in Gypsy
Boyd Gaines in Gypsy
Vanessa Redgrave in Year of Magical Thinking

For now.
"This table, he is over one hundred years old. If I could, I would take an old gramophone needle and run it along the surface of the wood. To hear the music of the voices. All that was said." - Doug Wright, I Am My Own Wife
Featured Actor
Featured Actor
re: Best performances you've seen#14
Posted: 7/29/07 at 1:03pm
Vivienne Segal in the PAL JOEY revival
Alfred Drake in KISMET
Mary Martin in PETER PAN
Ethel Merman in GYPSY
Gwen Verdon in REDHEAD
The Lunts in THE VISIT
Anne Bancroft in TWO FOR THE SEESAW
Richard Burton in CAMELOT
Elaine Stritch in A DELICATE BALANCE
re: Best performances you've seen#15
Posted: 7/29/07 at 1:16pm
Tonya Pinkins Caroline or Change
Kristin Chenoweth Wicked
Michael Cerveris Sweeney Todd
Raul Esparza Company
Chita Rivera A Dancer's Life
Chita Rivera House of Bernarda Alba
Simone Aida
Jennifer Paz Miss Saigon
Gary Beach Les Miserables
Christine Ebersole Grey Gardens
Erin Davie Grey Gardens
Jason Tam Chorus Line
Stanley Bahorek Spelling Bee
John Gallagher Jr Spring Awakening

Idina Singing "Defying Gravity" on Broadway
Patti Lupone Could Shoulda Woulda "Soliloquy" & "I Was Here"
Patti LuPone singing "Buenos Aires" at Hollywood Bowl
Linda Eder Concert
Alice Ripley singing "Wake the Dead" in The Dead
Audra singing "Your Daddy's Son" at Hollywood Bowl

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re: Best performances you've seen#16
Posted: 7/29/07 at 1:58pm
Shoshana Bean Wicked
Megan Hilty Wicked
John Cudia Phantom of the Opera
Adam Brazier Rocky Horror
Stephen Patterson Urinetown
Erica Peck We Will Rock You
Yvan Pednault We Will rock you
Martin Short in his show

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re: Best performances you've seen#17
Posted: 7/29/07 at 1:59pm
Christine Ebersole GG
Mary Louise Wilson GG
Audra McDonald 110
Madeline Kahn in The Sisters Rosensweig
Zoe Caldwell Master Class
Bebe Neuwirth Chicago
Elaine Stritch At Liberty

Yul Brynner in the King and I
Jefferson Mays in I Am My Own Wife
Ron Leibman Angels in America
Adam Cooper Swan Lake
James Naughton Chicago
Broadway Star
Broadway Star
re: Best performances you've seen#18
Posted: 7/29/07 at 2:12pm
Christine Ebersole- GG
Mary Louise Wilson- GG
Audra McDonald- 110
Sutton Foster- Drowsy
Sherie Rene Scott- DRS
Megan Hilty- Wicked
Victoria Clark- Piazza
Kelli O'hara- Piazza
Idina Menzel- Wicked
LaChanze- Color Purple

Norbert Leo Butz- DRS
Hugh Panaro- Phantom of the Opera
Bob Martin- Drowsy
Harvey Fierstein- Hairspray
John Gallagher Jr.- Spring Awakening
Stephen Lynch- Wedding Singer
Aaron Lazar- Light in the Piazza
Bruce Vilanch- Hairspray
Bobby Stegger- 110

This was just limited to on broadway.
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#19
Posted: 7/29/07 at 2:14pm
This is tough as i haven't seen as many shows as most people here (Im only 16) though I will try. These are either Uk Tours or in the West End since I have never seen a show on Broadway (yet!). Not really in any order, just putting them as they come into my head.

Male -
1. Cory English - The Producers
2. Stephen Palfreman - Blood Brothers
3. Craig Whiteley - Blood Brothers
4. Keith Burns - Blood Brothers
5. Peter Johansson - We Will Rock You
6. Gavin Creel - Mary Poppins
7. Steve Pemberton - The Drowsy Chaperone
8. Alistair Mcgowan - Little shop of Horrors
9. Kris Harding - Starlight Express
10. Matthew Cammelle - Beauty and the Beast

Female -
1. Linda Nolan - Blood Brothers (This is THE best performance ive ever seen ever)
2. Julie Atherton - Avenue Q
3. Idina Menzel - Wicked
4. Hannah Waddingham - Spamalot
5. Connie Fisher - Sound of Music
6. Sheradon Smith - Little shop of Horrors
7. Hannah Jane Fox - We Will Rock You
8. Jenna Lee James - We Will Rock You
9. Mazz Murray - We Will Rock You
10. Scarlet Strallen - Mary Poppins
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#20
Posted: 7/29/07 at 2:37pm
Ethel Merman - "Hello, Dolly!"
Carol Channing- "Hello, Dolly!"
Pearl Bailey- "Hello, Dolly!"
Hugh Jackman "The Boy From Oz"
George Hearn - "La Cage Aux Folles"
Patrick Wilson- "The Full Monty"
Angela Lansbury- "Gypsy"
Tyne Daly- "Gypsy"
Austin Miller- "Hairspray"
Anita Morris- "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"
Carlin Glynn- "The Best Little Whorhouse in Texas"
Anita Morris- "Nine"
Bernadette Peters- "Mack and Mabel"
Polly Bergen- "Cabaret"
Lauren Bacall- "Applause"
Orfeh- "Saturday Night Fever"
John Stamos- "Cabaret"
Faith Prince- "Guys and Dolls"
Yul Brynner- "The King and I"
Raul Julia- "Man of La Mancha"
Gary Beach- "The Producers"

The entire cast of "Lestat" except for the little girl vampire.

"I've lost everything! Luis, Marty, my baby with Chris, Chris himself, James. All I ever wanted was love." --Sheridan Crane "Passions" ------- "Housework is like bad sex. Every time I do it, I swear I'll never do it again til the next time company comes."--"Lulu" from "Can't Stop The Music" ----- "When the right doors didn't open for him, he went through the wrong ones" - "Sweet Bird of Youth" ------------ --------- "Passions" is uncancelled! See for more info.
re: Best performances you've seen#21
Posted: 7/30/07 at 8:49am
Ladies -
Julianne Moore - The Vertical Hour
Julie White - The Little Dog Laughed
Patti LuPone - Gypsy
Vanessa Redgrave - Year of Magical Thinking
Christine Ebersole - Grey Gardens
Audra McDonald- 110 In The Shade
Julie Murney - Wicked
Kristin Chenoweth - The Apple Tree

Brian Stokes Mitchell - Kiss Me Kate
Nathan Lane - Butley
Boyd Gaines - Gypsy
Marc Kurdish - The Apple Tree
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#22
Posted: 7/30/07 at 8:59am
Broadway and Off, off the top of my head:

Male (in no particular order):
Nathan Lane - The Producers
Harvey Fierstein - Hairspray
Hugh Jackman - The Boy from Oz
Boyd Gaines - pick one

Female (in no order):
Anna Camp - The Scene
Alison Pill - Blackbird
Christine Ebersole - Grey Gardens

Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Best performances you've seen#23
Posted: 7/30/07 at 9:34am
Harvey Fierstein - Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof, Torch Song Trilogy
Nathan Lane - The Producers, Butley, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Forum, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Man Who Came to Dinner
Gary Beach - The Producers
Roger Bart - The Producers, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown
Jay Johnson - Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!
Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin - The Big Voice: God or Merman?
Norbert Leo Butz - Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Last Five Years
John Lithgow - Sweet Smell of Success, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Denis O'Hare - Sweet Charity, Take Me Out
Michael Cerveris - Sweeney Todd
Neil Patrick Harris - Cabaret
Robert Morse - H2$, Sugar, TRU
Victor Garber - Assassins
Howard Da Silva - 1776
Merwin Foard - 1776
William Daniels - 1776
Lonny Price - A Class Act
Donny Osmond - Beauty and the Beast
Raul Esparza - Company


Bernadette Peters - Into the Woods, Gypsy
Elaine Stritch - Elaine Stritch: At Liberty
Christine Ebersole - Grey Gardens
Patti LuPone - Sweeney Todd
Chita Rivera - The Dancer's Life
Cathy Rigby - Seussical

The entire OBC of Avenue Q
The entire revival of Assassins

"I'm tellin' you, the only times I really feel the presence of God are when I'm having sex and during a great Broadway musical." - Nathan Lane - Jeffrey
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Broadway Star
Broadway Star
re: Best performances you've seen#24
Posted: 7/30/07 at 9:37am
Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson in Grey Gardens.
Patti LuPone in Gypsy.
There wouldn't be lights bright enough!

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