Playbill.com runs a weekly article series titled ‘Their Favorite Things’. In the series, they ask one member of the New York theatre community about what are some of their favorite experiences of going to the theatre.
This week, I’ve decided to offer you a list of some of my favorite theatrical performances that I’ve been lucky enough to see. I won’t be listing them in order of preference because that would be really hard for me to figure out. Instead, I’ll be listing them in alphabetical order of the performer’s last name. Some of these performances I was recently able to catch when I was in New York a few weeks ago.
And for the record, you won't be seeing a complete list here. I'm only going to be giving you five of my favorite performances. I am planning to do more of these lists in the future with another five or so.
And the first five of my favorite theatrical performances are...
Danny Burstein in Fiddler on the Roof A huge first for me when I was in New York last month was seeing the Six-Time Tony nominee live onstage. Danny Burstein is absolutely incredible as Tevye! He should really feel proud of how over the past 20 years, he’s worked his way up from the ensemble to principal roles in The Drowsy Chaperone, South Pacific, Follies, and Cabaret to his very first time leading a Broadway show.
Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple As I was watching the current Tony-Winning Broadway revival of The Color Purple, I couldn’t take my eyes off of Cynthia Erivo. She literally gave everything you’d want out of a performance. She was sweet, funny, moving, and heartbreaking. When she finishes her 11 o’clock number near the end of the show, she doesn’t get a standing ovation, SHE EARNS IT! When I met her at the stage door, she even said to me that she recognized how much I was really into it in the audience (I was sitting pretty close to the stage).
Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton Yes, I was able to get tickets to Broadway’s biggest hit in years. While the whole cast was uniformly excellent, watching the creator of the piece performing his own work was still quite something to behold. While Lin-Manuel Miranda is leaving his show on July 9th, he did say that this won’t be the last we’ll see of him in the role of Alexander Hamilton.
Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Rather than doing some sort of impersonation of the music icon, she gave a well-rounded portrayal Carole King with such authenticity as she grew up over the course of 13 years within two hours. And how rare it is for the audience to cheer for the main character in the middle of a scene without a song.
Alice Ripley in Next to Normal I didn’t get to see this on Broadway, but I did catch it on tour. While the musical was very unsettling to me at the time (I’ve since come to appreciate it more over the years), it was real easy to see why Alice Ripley won the Tony for this. Seeing her play a mother who goes through a bipolar disorder was very exhilarating.
So these were the first five theatrical performances that stick out in my mind. What are some of your favorite theatrical performances you've ever seen?