There is still no special Tony or Drama Desk Award for Best Replacement on Broadway, but if there were, these folks would make the shortlist from 2016. Each brought something special, original, and incredible to their long-running musical.
"Everybody love Shug." This was a replacement performance that completely rocked 2016 on Broadway.
Marin Mazzie as Anna Leonowens in The King and I
The humor and warmth Marin Mazzie infused Anna with made it clear why any king would love and trust her with his kids and his kingdom.
If I created a new musical comedy, this would be the leading man I called first. His talent is immense, varied, and without fail.
Rebecca Luker as Helen Bechdel in Fun Home
Her Helen held so strong to the facade of her life that when the mask finally fell, it was gasp-worthy and completely heartbreaking. Please, let's bring Rebecca Luker back to Broadway 2017.
We already discussed all the reasons we love Ektor's Emilio (click his name for the refresh!), but let's just say with star quality like that it's hard not to root for him, his dream, and his family.
Tell me, who else sings "Memory" like Ms. Mamie with her single breath?!? This was a "must-return" performance.
Todrick Hall as Lola in Kinky Boots
Fierce AF, his Lola was someone you would want to invest in. He was pure electricity.
Only Judy Kuhn could turn Golde into a dream role. She played it with such density any actress would want to try her on next. And that voice...
Carrie St. Louis as Glinda in Wicked
I always thought I'd never see a Glinda nail it like Cheno until I saw Carrie. It was stunning and testament to her own creativity.
Brandon Victor Dixon as Aaron Burr in Hamilton
That "Wait for It". That "Dear Theodosia". BVD slipped into this Tony-winning role and his inner light shined through.