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10 Musical Theater Performances We’re Thankful For

November 21, 2016 by Juliana Panzera
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Thanksgiving is coming up, and while we know there are many amazing musical performances to be thankful for, we decided to share just 10 of them with you. Take a look through and see which favorites of yours made the list!

1. Alan Cumming – Cabaret

Watching Alan Cumming reinvent the role of Emcee in Sam Mendes’ 1998 revival of Cabaret on Broadway was a wonder to behold. He won the 1998 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, and lucky for us, Cumming reprised his performance in the subsequent 2013 revival.

2. Alice Ripley – Next to Normal

There really are no words for this powerhouse performance by Alice Ripley as Diana in Next to Normal. She exposed herself in a way that so few actors are truly able to do, and won a well-deserved Tony Award for it.

3. Patti LuPone – Evita

Anyone playing this role is destined to be compared to Patti LuPone’s fierce interpretation of the polarizing Argentinian first lady, Eva Perón. Her soaring vocals and calculating demeanor earned her 1980 Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical.

4. Michael Cerveris – Assassins

While his turn as Bruce Bechdel in Fun Home may be fresher in our minds, Cerveris’ Tony Award-winning portrayal of the conflicted John Wilkes Booth in Assassins is still just as deserving of praise now as it was in 2004.

5. Christine Ebersole – Grey Gardens

Playing Big Edie in the first act and Little Edie in the second act, Christine Ebersole gave a tour-de-force performance in Grey Gardens praised by critics and audiences alike. She won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.

6. Jennifer Holliday – Dreamgirls

Jennifer Holliday’s performance of this song from Dreamgirls is nothing short of legendary. The then-19-year-old shocked audiences with her great capacity for raw emotion, with this song as the epitome of a woman on the verge of losing it all.

7. Audra McDonald – Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

As her six Tonys will tell you, Audra McDonald is no stranger to giving a stunning performance. Her complete embodiment of the troubled jazz singer Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill stands out as particularly splendid.

8. John Gallagher, Jr. – Spring Awakening

Spring Awakening took Broadway by storm when it opened in 2006. John Gallagher, Jr. created the role of Moritz, the tragic teenager. His performance, which was praised for its heart and intensity, earned him the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical.

9. Josh Groban – The Great Comet

Josh Groban stars in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet, which has opened to reviews as glowing as the production itself. Groban is a force as the tormented Russian aristocrat Pierre Bezukhov, his performance rounding out an exquisite ensemble cast. Now playing at the Imperial Theatre, The Great Comet tickets are available now on TodayTix.

10. Glenn Close – Sunset Boulevard

No one can play a faded starlet like Glenn Close. Her performance as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard was transcendent, winning her the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical in 1995. Close will be reprising the role in an upcoming revival of Sunset Boulevard, which is scheduled to begin a strictly limited 16-week engagement in February at the Palace Theatre.

Craving more amazing performances? Check out this article on the most show-stopping 11 o’ clock numbers.