The Universe Is Telling Us to Revisit the Featured Actresses of the 2000 Broadway Season
August 31st, 2015
by Josh Ferri
Tonight Tony nominee Orfeh takes the stage at 54 Below for a reunion concert of Saturday Night Fever, meanwhile Tony nominee Sherie Rene Scott is currently starring in a new off-Broadway show Whorl Inside a Loop, and Amy Spanger is moments away from stepping into the Tony-winning Matilda as the musical's over-the-top mom Mrs. Wormwood. It’s never been more clear that it’s time to revisit the 2000 Broadway season and the featured actresses who made it such a landmark moment.
First, let’s review the five Tony nominees from that season. There were two from Contact (Karen Ziemba & Deborah Yates), two from Swing (Ann Hampton Callaway & Laura Benanti) and one Ms. Eartha Kitt from The Wild Party.
Ziemba took home the award for Contact. But as far as clips go, let’s indulge in AHC’s “Blues in the Night” because it such a force of nature and worth a weekly revisit.
Now that the nominees are out of the way, buckle up for the ladies who rocked that season to filth. We’re talking the belters who you have LIVED for in the car, in the shower, in bedroom or wherever else you like to sing along to showtunes.
Orfeh as Annette in Saturday Night Fever
Vocals for days and weeks here, children. But seriously, how was there no original cast album?! I’d get a kickstarter going just for her verse in “Jive Talking”.
Sherie Rene Scott as Amneris in Aida
Bow down then get on Google and find out to how petition the Library of Congress to preserve the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of the Aida cast recording for future generations.
Amy Spanger as Lois Lane/Bianca in Kiss Me, Kate
Rosie O really was doing the lord’s work back in the day getting all these amazing moments on film. Also, Spanger’s performance must be the reason there hasn’t been a Kiss Me, Kate revival since.
Maya Days as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar
The yearning, the pain, the belting. A few things here: forgive how shaky the video is, this was pre-cell bootlegs—just enjoy. Also, how about how Christian Borle, Deidre Goodwin and Max Von Essen were all disciples in this revival?
Tonya Pinkins as Kate in The Wild Party
The Wild Party snagged a nomination for living legend Eartha Kitt, but lest we forget the moments Tony winner Tonya Pinkins gave us as Kate (video starts at 1:50). Her and Toni Collette’s “Best Friend” is basically the modern “Bosom Buddies”.
Ruthie Henshall as The Younger Woman in Putting It Together
The problem with Ruthie Henshall is that one video inevitably leads to the next and soon your whole day is gone. An unbelievable Olivier Award-winning musical theatre talent, Henshall made her B’way debut in this Sondheim revue.
Ruth Williamson as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn in The Music Man
There’s no video of her scene-stealing comedic turn as the mayor’s wife but if you also have that epic “Pickalittle” committed to memory, you know she deserved a mention on this list. In the meantime, enjoy their Tony number.
Mary Testa as Magdalena in Marie Christine
You could always count on Mary Testa to turn it out (her section begins at 3 min mark). Though the musical was short-lived, the cast recording has all the Audra/Testa/Vivian Reed moments.
All the Ladies of James Joyce’s The Dead
This show not only had the post-Side Show reunion of Alice and Emily, it had Tony winner Daisy Egan, it had the film treasure Marni Nixon (who basically sung ever movie musical you grew up loving), Blair Brown was there and Sally Ann Howes pulled out a Drama Desk nomination for it.
This post brought to you by YouTube & the year 2000.