WTF! 55 Musical Performances From the Last 10 Years That Were Brilliant (And Not Tony Nominated)
May 2nd, 2017
by Josh Ferri
Just because you didn't receive a Tony Award nomination doesn't mean you didn't slay the MF house down. A look back on some absolutely killer performances from the last decade that weren't Tony nominated.
Ashley Brown, Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, 2007
Practically perfect in every way.
Kristin Chenoweth, Eve/Princess Barbara/Ella in The Apple Tree, 2007
Lea Michele, Wendla in Spring Awakening, 2007
I would have nominated her alongside her male co-stars for "Whispering" alone.
Jason Tam, Paul in A Chorus Line, 2007
Barbara Walsh, Joanne in Company, 2007
Her "When are we going to make it" monologue was absolutely everything. I still think about it.
Mandy Gonzalez, Nina in In the Heights, 2008
Cheyenne Jackson, Sonny in Xanadu, 2008
You know what they say about how it takes someone very smart to play someone not so bright in a very convincing way. Also these vocals in those shorts...praise.
Leslie Kritzer, Jane Hurley in A Catered Affair, 2008
Leigh Ann Larkin, June in Gypsy, 2008
It's easy to see why Mama thought this June was destined for stardom.
Alli Mauzey, Lenora in Cry-Baby, 2008
Karen Olivo, Vanessa in In the Heights, 2008
Between this song, the dancing in the club, and "Champagne", Karen's performance arc was totally star making.
Mary Testa, Melpomene/Medusa in Xanadu, 2008
Nearly impossible to choose between Mary and Jackie Hoffman—both geniuses.
Adam Chanler-Berat, Henry in Next to Normal, 2009
Hair wasn't the only musical that year with a lovable stoner who stole our hearts.
Megan Hilty, Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5, 2009
Equal parts comedy and heart (plus those vocals) made this one of Hilty's most memorable performances to date.
Kacie Sheik, Jeanie in Hair, 2009
I sometimes wonder if I'll ever see a Jeanie this good again or someone perform "Air" like she did. In a stage of dozens, no one caught your eye like Kacie Sheik.
Amy Spanger, Sherrie in Rock of Ages, 2009
Erin Davie, Countess Charlotte Malcolm in A Little Night Music, 2010
Erin Davie is a treasure. Her Grey Gardens and Side Show were great but this performance in Night Music was magnificent. There wasn't a joke she didn't land.
Saycon Sengbloh, Sandra in Fela, 2010
Her "Upside Down" still slays me. It was those Saycon vocals and the way she carried herself—she was a star.
Tony Vincent, St. Jimmy in American Idiot, 2010
He was magnetic and completely other worldly. You wanted to follow him down any dark path.
Terri White, Dottie in Finian’s Rainbow, 2010
All you need is one showstopping song, and Terri White sure had it. You could feel the electricity in the room.
Nick Adams, Felicia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, 2011
As the young, spunky drag queen Nick Adams practically strutted away with the whole show thanks to an unequivocal breakthrough performance—I'd love to see that "Material Girl" moment again.
Daniel Radcliffe, J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, 2011
Aaron Tveit, Frank Abagnale, Jr. in Catch Me If You Can, 2011
He carried this thing on his back and never missed a performance. Also vocals for days.
Benjamin Walker, Andrew Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, 2011
Kara Lindsay, Katherine in Newsies, 2012
Come on! This number was like watching "Look What Happened to Mabel" or some other big breakout leading lady performance.
Paul Alexander Nolan, Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, 2012
Patrick Page, Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, 2012
Who plays a villain like Patrick Page? He really brought something special to the infamous Broadway spectacular.
Bernadette Peters, Sally Durant Plummer in Follies, 2012
Elaine Paige, Carlotta Campion in Follies, 2012
The First Lady of the British Theatre sang "I'm Still Here" in her first ever Tony eligible role...and it was worth the wait.
John Bolton, The Old Man in A Christmas Story, 2013
Lilla Crawford, Annie in Annie, 2013
Give me an Annie who could sing the Palace Theatre down any day of the week.
Lesli Margherita, Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda, 2013
Who knew Lesli and her over-the-top Mrs. Wormwood would become the breakout stars of the Olivier-winning musical? She worked really hard to make it look that easy.
Rachel Bay Jones, Catherine in Pippin, 2013
A complete reinvention of a classic role, and a performance fans still discuss at great length. It was revolutionary.
Matthew James Thomas, Pippin in Pippin, 2013
Norbert Leo Butz, Edward Bloom in Big Fish, 2014
In the course of the show, he took us through a lifetime of adventures. He made us laugh and cry.
Jared Grimes, Featured Dancer in After Midnight, 2014
Warren Carlyle took home the Tony for choreography, and this incredible stand out dancer made it easy to see why.
Lisa O’Hare, Sibella Hallward in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, 2014
Steven Pasquale, Robert in The Bridges of Madison County, 2014
This performance was devastating in all the right ways.
John Cariani, Nigel Bottom in Something Rotten, 2015
Ashley Park, Tuptim in The King and I, 2015
Alysha Umphress, Hildy in On the Town, 2015
She can cook; she can belt; and she can serve major face all night long eight times a week.
Mary Louise Wilson, Letitia Peabody Primrose in On the Twentieth Century, 2015
I went nuts for this Twentieth Century loon.
Nicholas Barasch, Arpad in She Loves Me, 2016
Andrea Burns, Gloria Fajardo in On Your Feet!, 2016
The balance of stern mom and the star who never made it ("Mi Tierra") made this featured performance pop.
Austin P. McKenzie, Melchior in Spring Awakening, 2016
Audra McDonald, Lottie Gee in Shuffle Along, 2016
Audra surprised Broadway once again with her incredible dance moves in Shuffle Along.
Brian Stokes Mitchell, F.E. Miller in Shuffle Along, 2016
Ana Villafane, Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet!, 2016
What a debut.
Benjamin Walker, Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, 2016
He's the only actor to appear twice on this list but it's because he gave his all with incredibly nuanced, well-acted starring performances in two short-lived cult musicals.
Christy Altomare, Anastasia in Anastasia, 2017
Jon Jon Briones, The Engineer in Miss Saigon, 2017
His Engineer is so sleazy and ruthless, and yet there's a part of you that wants him to get out and realize his American dream. Such a wonderful debut.
Corey Cott, Donny Novitski in Bandstand, 2017
For Bandstand, Corey created an original role from the ground up and taught himself piano so that he could play the show live each night. Bravo.
Barrett Doss, Rita Hanson in Groundhog Day, 2017
Rita is a tricky role in a vehicle that's built for Phil, but I think this is the beginning of a long, long stage career from an incredibly talented young woman.
Caroline O’Connor, Countess Lily in Anastasia, 2017
What becomes a legend most? Stopping a new musical with a big dance number and lots of comedy.
Laura Osnes, Julia Trojan in Bandstand, 2017
Broadway's never seen or heard this side of Osnes before and all I can hope is that we see it again and again.