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5 Broadway Stars from Philadelphia

September 6, 2017 by Anne Berkowitz
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The Great White Way isn’t too far from the City of Brotherly Love. In fact, many singers, dancers, and actors on Broadway choose to train in Philly due to it’s close proximity to New York and it’s incredible training programs, such as the University of the Arts. Some Broadway stars were lucky enough to be born in the great city of Philadelphia. Here are just a few of our favorite Philadelphians who have graced Broadway stages throughout the years.

1. Andrea McCardle

Andrea McArdle became the youngest person to ever be nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her iconic turn originating the title role in Annie. The Philadelphia native has since had an illustrious career as an actress on stage, tv, and in film. Her other Broadway credits include Les Miserables, Starlight Express, Beauty and the Beast, and State Fair.

2. Leslie Odom Jr.

Tony Award-winning Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. was born in Queens, but soon moved to Philadelphia where he spent the majority of his childhood. Odom Jr. stayed in Pennsylvania for college, studying Musical Theatre at the esteemed Carnegie Mellon University. He made his Broadway debut at the young age of 17, playing Paul in the musical Rent.

3. Bradley Cooper

You may recognize this Hollywood hunk from his various big-screen blockbusters, but did you know that Bradley Cooper is also a secret theater geek, as well as a two-time Broadway veteran? Cooper grew up in the Jenkintown and Rydal neighborhoods of Philadelphia before getting is MFA in acting at the New School. Cooper starred on Broadway in the original cast of Three Days of Rain and as John Merrick in the revival of The Elephant Man.

4. Holland Taylor

Legendary actress Holland Taylor has appeared on Broadway 8 times, her debut being the original production of The Devils with Anne Bancroft. Most recently, she starred in the hit comedy The Front Page, which closed earlier this year. Taylor also wrote and starred in the solo play Ann, for which she was subsequently nominated for a Tony Award. Taylor was born and bred in Philly.

5. Hugh Panaro

Hugh Panaro was born and raised in the City of Brotherly Love and studied at Temple University. He credits his love of theater to seeing fellow Philadelphian Andrea McArdle on Broadway when he was young. The dashing leading man has since taken on iconic roles in the Broadway productions of Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, The Red Shoes, Lestat, Show Boat, and Side Show. You can currently catch him playing the Demon Barber of Fleet Street in the acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd at the Barrow Street Theater.

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