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Step Backstage and Behind The Curtain of Broadway’s All-Time Biggest Productions

Broadway has long been one of the most talked-about and sought after experiences that New York City has to offer. Countless performers have made it their dream to make it to the Broadway stage and theatre enthusiasts travel from far and wide in order to witness one of the award-winning performances for themselves.

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Image: The New York Times

While seeing the performers on stage is a captivating experience in itself, there is something particularly special about seeing them behind the scenes as they prepare to take the stage. See what the famed and historic Broadway theatres look like behind the curtain and get an exclusive sneak peek at what it’s like to be in the dressing room of a Broadway star.

Wicked: Idina Menzel Getting Green

Actress Idina Menzel transforms herself into Elphaba for the Broadway production of Wicked. Menzel was the first to bring this role to life. She played the original Elphaba for over a year following its premiere in 2003. Menzel’s performance earned her a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

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Image: The New York Times

Wicked, which is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, is still running today. In 2017, it became the second-highest-grossing musical, second only to The Lion King and in October 2019 it became Broadway’s fifth longest-running show.

Funny Girl: Streisand Becoming Fanny

Broadway legend Barbara Streisand prepares in her dressing room before taking the Winter Garden stage for the production of Funny Girl. The semi-biographical musical first opened on Broadway in 1964. Based on the life of the late Broadway star, Fanny Brice, Funny Girl ran until 1967

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Image: The New York Times

Streisand, who was an original cast member, reprised the role in a 1966 West End Production and in the 1968 film of the same name. The film won her an Academy Award for Best Actress. The Broadway production of Funny Girl was nominated for eight Tony Awards and was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.

Cats: Backstage Cat Cuddles

Actress and dancer, Claire Rathburn dressed up as Victoria the White Cat from Broadway’s Cats, cuddles up with an actual Cat backstage. The original production of Cats, Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, first opened on Broadway in 1982. In the production’s 2016-2017 revival, Rathbun was one of three to take on the role of Victoria, which was originally portrayed by Cynthia Onrubia.

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Image: Broadway World

With its 18 year run and 7,485 performances, Cats is the fourth longest-running musical on Broadway. The original Broadway production won seven Tony Awards out of eleven nominations. the musical actually originated in London in 1981. It has since been revived twice in London and once on Broadway and in 2019 was adapted into a feature-length film.

Fiddler on The Roof: Zero Mostel Getting in Character

Actor, Zero Mostel takes a cigarette break backstage at the Winter Garden Theater in 1976. Mostel, who played Tevye in the musical’s original cast, returned to the stage for Broadway’s first revival of Fiddler on the Roof. The original Broadway production opened in 1964, after which it held the record for longest-running Broadway production for almost 10 years.

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Image: The New York Times

Since then Fiddler on The Roof has been revived five times on Broadway and in 1971 was adapted into a hit film, which won three Academy Awards. The original musical also won nine Tony Awards. Mostel himself took home a Tony for “Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.

In The Heights: Miranda Shows off His Inner Kid

Lin-Manuel Miranda strikes a pose in his In The Heights dressing room, which admittedly looks more like a college dorm room equipped with a bunk bed and mini-fridge. Miranda even admitted to having Transformers sheets for the bed and a G.I. Joe Cobra Commander poster on the door. In The Heights, which debuted on Broadway in 2008, was written by Miranda and is based on a Quiara Alegría Hudes novel.

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Image: The New York Times

It has won four Tony awards and has already inspired a film adaptation that is set to be released in 2021. Miranda has also found success through his award-winning musical, Hamilton. The composer, writer, producer, and Broadway performer has also worked in television and movies, even winning a Grammy for the song “How Far I’ll Go” featured in Disney’s Moana.

Amadeus: Hollywood Legends Take the Stage

Co-stars Ian McKellen and Jane Seymour hug it out on the opening night of Amadeus, which made its Broadway premiere in December 1980 at the Broadhurst Theater. The play gives a fictionalized telling of the lives of renowned composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri.

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Image: The New York Times

The production had a star-studded cast with Ian McKellen as Salieri, Tim Curry as Mozart, and Jane Seymour as Constanze. Broadway’s Amadeus, which was first presented in London a year previous, was a huge success, receiving seven Tony Award nominations and winning five. It was adapted into a film in 1984, which took home a long list of awards and is considered one of the best films of all time.

Beautiful: Sara King In The Wig Room

Sara King gets her wig situated in the wig room of Beautiful: The Carol King Musical. Sara King played the role of Marilyn Wald in the 2014 Broadway production, with Jessie Mueller starring as Carol King. The production was a jukebox musical, meaning it used popular songs rather than originally composed music.

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Beautiful tells the story of Carol King’s life and featuring songs that she wrote throughout her career. The original production debuted in San Francisco in 2013 and has since been brought to Broadway and a West End Theater in London.

Peter Pan: Sandy Duncan Forever in Character

Actress Sandy Duncan backstage on the opening night of the 1979 revival of Peter Pan, which first debuted on Broadway back in April 1950. This was a musical adaptation of J. M. Barrie’s play of the same name however it only featured five songs, to accommodate the limited vocal range of the original 1950s principle cast.

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Duncan ended up winning a Tony for her performance as Peter, which, since the turn of the 20th Century, has been a role traditionally given to a woman. This was originally done in order to prevent having to “scale down” the other children in the production while still giving Peter a youthful appearance. In addition, it also helped production avoid an old English rule that prevented minors under the age of 14 from working past 9:00 pm.

Sunset Boulevard: Glen Close Slays Per Usual

Award-winning actress, Glenn Close prepares to take the stage as Norma Desmond in the 2017 production of Sunset Boulevard. Close took on the role of Norma back in 1994 when the musical first premiered on Broadway. She reprised the role again for its return to Broadway in 2017.

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Sunset Boulevard, which is based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name, first opened in London in 1993. The role of Norma Desmond was first portrayed by Ria Jones and by Broadway legend Patti LuPone. Close then took the reigns, earning her a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.

Annie: Sarah Jessica Parker Pre Carrie Bradshaw

A 14-year-old Sarah Jessica Parker sits next to her four-legged co-star. Parker was the third actress to star as the red-headed orphan in the original Broadway production of Annie. The musical first premiered in 1977 at the Alvin Theater and ran for six years.

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Image: The New York Times

Annie was a huge success. Not only did it win a Tony Award for Best Musical, but in 1982 it was also recreated into a feature-length film, which has been remade twice since then. Annie was also revived on Broadway in 2012. This was one of Parker’s very first acting roles before she was launched into superstardom.

Hamilton: A Day in The Life of a Swing

Jimmie “JJ” Jeter plays keyboard during some downtime and shows off the productions costume room as he hangs out backstage of Hamilton. Jeter is what is known as a “swing,” which means he needs to be ready at a moment’s notice to play one of six roles in Hamilton, including the lead, Alexander Hamilton.

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Often times, Jeter is given as little as two weeks to learn a role and is still expected to have it down perfectly in time for curtains up. As part of his role as swing, Jetter must be waiting backstage during every show in case someone can’t perform at the last minute. This means that he could possibly be expected to perform every day or he could have to wait for weeks at a time before taking the stage.

Anything Goes: Patti LuPone was Always a Legend

Patti LuPone positions her microphone backstage at the Vivian Beaumont Theater as she prepares to perform as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. The musical first debuted back in 1934 and has since been revived several times.

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LuPone joined the cast in its 1987 Broadway revival, which ended up winning three Tonys including the award for Best Revival of a Musical. The star didn’t just utilize this dressing room to prepare for the stage. It was also where she got ready for her wedding on July 10, 1988.

Frozen: Costars That Warmup Together Stay Together

Patti Murin and Caissie Levy warmup and hug it out in Caissie’s dressing room before they take the stage as Anna and Elsa in the Broadway production of Frozen. The musical, which is based on the 2013 film of the same name first made its Broadway premiere in 2017 at the St. James Theatre.

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Both Pattie and Caissie originated the roles of Anna and Elsa, which they held onto until the musicals last performance this past March 2020. Frozen was nominated for three Tony Awards in 2018 however it did not take any home. Overall the show received mixed reviews and it’s unknown when it will return to the Broadway stage.

A Chorus Line: Sharing is Caring, Even with Mirror Space

Cast members of A Chorus Line share mirror space as they prepare for the musical’s record 3,389th performance. In order to accommodate the hundreds of performers taking part in this event, which took place at the Shubert Theater in 1983, they had to transform the nearby Booth Theater into a makeshift dressing room.

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A Chorus Line first opened in 1975. It received a whopping nine Tony Awards as well as a 1976 Pulitzer Prize. Up until 1997, when it was surpassed by Cats, this was the longest-running Broadway production in history. It has since been revived in 2006 on Broadway and twice in the West End in London.

The Lion King: Adrienne Walker Fully Transformed into Nala

Adrienne Walker does one last costume and makeup check before heading to the stage as Nala in Broadway’s The Lion King. The musical, based on the 1994 Disney animated film, first debuted in 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. It has since been moved to the Minskoff Theatre where it is still running today.

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The Lion King is Broadway’s third longest show in history and is the highest-grossing Broadway production of all time, exceeding $8 billion. It has won six Tony Awards and numerous other prestigious honors. Walker took on the role of Nala in 2016.

Flora The Red Menace: Liza Minnelli Makes Her Broadway Debut

A young Liza Minnelli in her dressing room at the Alvin Theater before making her Broadway debut in Flora, the Red Menace. First premiering in 1965, this was not only Minelli’s first time on a Broadway stage, but was also the first collaboration between Kander and Ebb, the creative geniuses behind hits such as Cabaret and Chicago.

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Minnelli’s performance as Flora won her a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. She would later go on to dominate the Broadway scene, taking on roles like Roxie Hart in Chicago and took home three more Tonys throughout her stage career.

Kinky Boots: Jake Shears’ Boots Were Made for Walking

Jake Shears, known best as the lead singer of pop/rock band Scissor Sisters, strikes a pose in his Kinky Boots dressing room. Based on the 2005 film of the same name and with music written by the one and only Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots first made its Broadway debut in 2013.

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The production earned six Tony Awards, including Best Score, making Lauper the first woman to wine alone in this category. Not bad for her first time songwriting for Broadway. Shears took on the musical’s title role, Charlie Price, in 2018.

The Little Foxes: Elizabeth Taylor Has Her Game Face On

The legendary Elizabeth Taylor mentally prepares in her dressing room at the Marin Beck Theater in 1981 for the production of The Little Foxes. The original Broadway production opened in 1939 and Taylor took on the role of Regina Giddens in its revival over 40 years later.

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Taylor’s performance received several Tony nominations and the show had a sold-out six-month run, despite mixed reviews. This was her only Broadway experience and the following year she continued performing The Little Foxes in West End theatre in London.

Phantom of The Opera: Hugh Panaro Becoming the Phantom

Hugh Panaro situates his mask backstage at the Majestic Theater as he prepares to play the title role of The Phantom of the Opera in 2012. The musical, which is based on a book by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Silgoe and features music by Webber, first premiered on Broadway in 1988.

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Since then it has become the longest-running show in Broadway history and is still playing today. It also held the title as the most financially successful production, until The Lion King surpassed it in 2014. The original 1988 production has won seven Tony Awards out of and outstanding 10 nominations.

Brighton Beach Memoirs: Matthew Broderick Takes Zero Days Off

A young, 21-year-old Matthew Broderick reads through his lines backstage at the Alvin Theater between performances of Brighton Beach Memoirs. The semi-autobiographical play first debuted in 1983 with Broderick taking on the title role of Eugene Jerome in its original cast.

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The performance won him a Tony for Best Featured Actor, making him the youngest person to ever receive that honor. A record that he still holds on to today. Brighton Beach Memoirs was the first of many Broadway performances for Broderick. He received his second Tony Award in 1995 for Best Actor in a Musical for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Beetlejuice: Spooky Stars In The Wings

Sophia Anne Caruso as Lydia Deetz and Alex Brightman as Beetlejuice wait in the wings and prepare to take the stage in the Broadway musical, Beetlejuice. The production, which premiered in April 2019 at the Winter Garden Theater, is based on the 1988 film of the same name.

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Images: Broadway.com

Both actors received praise for their performances with Caruso winning a Theater World Award and Brightman receiving a Tony nomination. The production continued until March 2020 but was then forced to close due to the COVID-19 lockdown order.

Groundhog Day: Andy Karl Always On The Go

Andy Karl walks into the August Wilson Theatre with as much swag as humanly possible. Karl plays the starring role of Phil Connors in the Broadway musical comedy, Groundhog Day. Based on the 1993 film of the same name, the musical first made its Broadway debut in 2017. The shows first few performances were far from smooth sailing.

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In its first scheduled preview prior to the official premiere, the musical had to be stopped just 15 minutes in due to technical difficulties with the revolving stage. The cast carried on as a concert of its featured songs rather than a musical production. In addition, on another preview performance, Karl had torn a ligament on stage and had to continue the performance with a cane.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch: Michael C. Hall Has Big Shoes to Fill

Michael C. Hall prepares backstage for his role as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Prior to Hall the role of Hedwig was played by Girls actor, Andrew Rannells and the original Broadway cast, in 2014, had the one and only Neil Patrick Harris in its ranks. It was thanks to Harris that the musical skyrocketed to success, winning four Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards.

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Following Hall, in 2015, actor and singer Taye Diggs assumed the role of Hedwig, which he held until the productions end in September that same year. With all those names in mind, it is pretty safe to say that Hedwig is a role reserved for the best of the best in show business.

Promises, Promises: Jerry Orbach Lets In Some Star Studded Visitors

Jerry Orbach (center) welcomes his friends Ben Gazzara and George Segal as they visited him at the Shubert Theater on the opening night of Promises Promises in 1968. Orbach played Chuck Baxter in the musical’s original cast, a performance which won him a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.

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Orbach was a huge Broadway heavyweight, appearing in hit shows such as Chicago and 42nd Street and receiving numerous Tony nominations. Those who might not recognize him from the stage might know him as Lennie Briscoe from the television crime drama Law & Order.

Dear Evan Hansen: Dreyfuss and Platt are BFF Status

Laura Dreyfuss sneaks a mirror pic of her and her Dear Evan Hansen costar, Ben Platt, as they hang out in her dressing room at the Music Box Theatre. Dear Evan Hansen opened on Broadway in 2016. Both Platt and Dreyfuss played title roles in the productions original cast, with Platt taking home a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance as Evan Hansen.

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Overall, the original production won six of nine Tony Award nominations. Co-stars Platt and Dreyfuss, or the original Evan and Zoe seem to be inseparable, having recently reunited, this time sharing the screen in the new Netflix series, The Politician.

Wicked: Amanda Jane Cooper Is Ready for Her Bubble

Amanda Jane Cooper gets ready to take the stage at Gerswhin Theater. As her Broadway debut, Cooper took on the role of Glinda the Good in 2017. The role was originated by Kristin Chenoweth back in 2003 and the musical has been running ever since then.

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Cooper has a variety of Glinda outfits throughout her performance but one of her favorites is “the bubble dress” which is what she wears when she first appears on stage, floating down via bubble. The dress has more than 68,000 sequins and weighs 20 pounds.

Present Laughter: Cobie Smulders Take the Title to Heart

Canadian actress, Cobie Smulders is caught mid laughter in her dressing room at St. James Theatre as she prepares for her role as Joanna in Present Laughter. Smulders is best known for her starring role as Robin in the hit sitcom How I met Your Mother.

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Smulders took on the role of Joanna in 2017. This is her second time on Broadway, the first being back in 2010 in Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Present Laughter first premiered on Broadway back in 1946 at Plymouth Theatre.

Lost in Yonkers: Kevin Spacey Lost in Thought

Kevin Spacey reviews lines in his dressing room at Richard Rodgers Theatre where he starred as Louie in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Drama, Lost in Yonkers. Spacey was a member of the play’s original cast back in 1991. His performance won him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

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Before becoming a Hollywood big shot, Spacey’s career actually started on the stage. At 22 years old, in 1981, he made his first Broadway appearance as Oswald in the production of Ghosts. In addition to its Pulitzer Prize, Lost in Yonkers received a total of four Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards.

Anastasia: Christy Altomare Relaxes Before Showtime

Christy Altomare in full costume, hair, and makeup takes a few moments to relax in her dressing room backstage of Anastasia at Broadhurst Theatre. Based on the 1997 film of the same name, Anastasia first opened on Broadway in 2017 and closed in 2019.

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Altomare took on the role of Anastasia for the shows full run. Prior to this she also starred as Sophie Sheridan in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia! Overall, Anastasia received mixed reviews however it was nominated for two Tony Awards and has inspired multiple productions in notable theaters around the world.

South Pacific: Mary Martin and Her Fan Mail

Mary Martin backstage at the Majestic Theater in 1951 looking through a stack of telegrams congratulating her on her final performance as Nellie Forbush in Rodger and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Martin took on this role in the original Broadway cast back in 1949.

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The original musical, based on the book Tales of the South Pacific saw huge success, winning ten Tony Awards and becoming the second-longest-running Broadway musical to that point. As the productions, original leading lady, Martin herself inspired many of the songs written by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The 2008 Broadway revival was also a huge success, winning seven Tonys.

Mean Girls: Ashley Park and Kate Rockwell Sitting at The Cool Kids Table

Ashley Park and Kate Rockwell sit in their dressing room at the August Wilson Theatre before a performance of Mean Girls, which opened on Broadway in 2018. As you might have guessed, the Mean Girls musical is based on the 2004 film of the same name, written by comedian Tina Fey.

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Ashley Park (front) played Gretchen Wieners and Kate Rockwell (back) played Karen Smith both in the original 2017 production in Washington D.C as well as on the Broadway stage the following year. The musical received 12 Tony Nominations including Best Musical and Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Ashley Park’s performance.

Pretty Woman: Samantha Barks and Tommy Bracco Making Good Use of Those Stairs

Samantha Barks (right) descends the stairs in her Vivian Ward costume before performing in Broadway’s Pretty Women. Meanwhile, Tommy Bracco stretches out on the staircase before taking the stage as Giulio, Beverly Wilshire Hotel’s bellhop.

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Pretty Woman: The Musical, based on the 1990 film of the same name, first premiered on Broadway at the Nederlander Theater in August, 2018. Unfortunately it received overall negative reviews and they closed one year later in August 2019.

Sondheim on Sondheim: Vanessa Williams Looks Flawless

Actress and singer Vanessa Williams gets ready to take the stage in the production of Sondheim on Sondheim, which made its Broadway debut at Studio 54 in 2010. You might recognize Williams for her successful career as a musician as well as in television and film, for which she has earned Grammy and Emmy nominations.

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What you might not know about the star however is that her career, back in 1985, started on the stage. After winning Miss America 1984, Williams appeared in several Broadway productions including Kiss of the Spider Woman and Into the Woods. And her career took off from there.

The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel: Fresh Faced Al Pacino

31-year-old Al Pacino sits in his dressing room at the Longacre Theater where he took on the starring role of Pavlo Hummel in the production of The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. The play first premiered on the Broadway stage in April 1977.

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The role ended up winning Pacino a Tony Award for Best Actor in Play as well as a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play. This was Pacino’s second Tony, the first he won after making his Broadway debut in 1969 in Don Petersen’s Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? It was only after Pacino’s success on the stage that he began pursuing work in film, which brought him to the level of superstardom that he holds on to today.

Next To Normal: Alice Ripley Taking a Mental Break

Alice Ripley shows off her dressing room at the Booth Theater where she played the starring role of Diana Goodman in the Broadway production of Next to Normal. The production debuted in 2009 and won three Tony Awards as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. One of the Tonys went to Alice for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.

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Playing Goodman, a suburban mom struggling through a bipolar disorder was no easy task for the award-winning actress. Ripley spoke about her experience saying, “It is a challenge, physically and emotionally. It is just something that, as a professional actor, you have to face with a play like this. Early on, there were times when Diana was just beating me up. She was winning. And it was something I had to work through.”

Henry IV, Part 1: Maurice Evans Mid Transformation

Shakespearean actor, Maurice Evans captured mid-way through his transformation into the role of Falstaff in the production of Henry IV, Part 1 at the St. James Theater. The play was first written by William Shakespeare back in the late 1500s.

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The play made its way to Broadway centuries later in 1939. Evan’s made his Broadway debut three years prior when he starred opposite Katharine Cronell in Romeo and Juliet. Since this debut, he continued to dominate the Shakespearean stage, becoming one of the leading actors to do so in his generation.

The Lion King: Samuel E. Wright Becoming Mufasa

Samuel E. Wright in his New Amsterdam Theater dressing room paints on his makeup for the role of Mufasa in The Lion King. Wright originated the role when the musical first opened in 1997. Wright has been performing on the Broadway stage since 1971 when he made his debut in Jesus Christ Superstar.

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His notable stage work however is not the only thing that you might recognize Wright’s name for. He is also known as the voice of Sebastian the crab in Disney’s animated classic The Little Mermaid. This role earned Wright an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

On Your Feet: The Cast Embracing Pre Show Rituals

The cast of On Your Feet stand hand in hand in a prayer circle before performing at the Marquis Theater. The musical, which opened in 2015 was based on the lives and music of husband-and-wife musical group Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

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You might know the Estfans for their hit dance songs like “Get on Your Feet,” and “Conga.” The production ran for two years after which international productions began to debut all over the world. The original cast included names like Ana Villafañe as Gloria Estefan and Josh Segarra as Emilio Estefan.

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune: Audra McDonald Gets a Helping Hand

Six-time Tony-winning actress, Audra McDonald puts on her wig as part of her transformation into Frankie for the 2019 revival of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. The revival saw a short run that only lasted from May until July.

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The original Broadway production first premiered in 2002 at the Belasco Theater. It received Tony Award nominations but did not take home any wins. McDonald has won more performance Tony Award wins than any other actor and was the first to win all four acting categories.

Fiddler on The Roof: Mostel and His Costars Making History

Zero Mostel and his costars share an embrace backstage of the first stage production of Fiddler on The Roof. The hit musical has come a long way since it’s debut back in 1964. While creators originally thought its storyline would only resonant in Jewish communities, to much surprise, its success grew way beyond just that.

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The 1964 run was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning nine and was the first Broadway musical to surpass 3000 performances. Oddly enough, on top of the many revivals put on since the success of the 1964 production, the musical has also seen hundreds of revivals in Japan. Apparently Japanese citizens particularly identified with the show’s storyline.

A Bronx Tale: Mobsters Goofing Around

Sam Edgerly, Cary Tedder, and Joseph J. Simone hang out backstage of A Bronx Tale. The musical, which premiered at the Longacre Theatre in 2016, is based on the one-man play of the same name written and performed by Chazz Palminteri.

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A Bronx Tale, the musical, is co-directed by Jerry Zaks and Robert DeNiro. DeNiro also directed and starred in the 1993 film adaptation while Zaks was the director of the one-man show.

Skylark: Gertrude Lawrence On Opening Night

Actress Gertrude Lawrence and producer John Golden embrace backstage at the Morosco Theater as they celebrate the opening night of Skylark in 1939. Among many other successes, in particular on the Broadway stage, Lawrence is celebrated for bringing the Award-winning musical, The King and I to life.

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After seeing the film Anna and the King of Siam, Lawrence acquired the rights to the 1944 book that it was based on and sent it to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The famed composers then wrote what became The King and I, which opened on Broadway in 1951. The musical won Lawrence the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Ain’t Too Proud: Derrick Baskin Gets His Muscles Ready for Show Time

Derrick Baskin fully equipped with a massage gun shares a laugh in his dressing room of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations. The jukebox musical opened at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre in March 2019. Unfortunately, it had to suspend production due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Baskin took on the role of Otis Williams, who is the last surviving original member of the Motown group The Temptations. Baskin received both a Tony Award and Grammy Award nomination for his performance. The show is expected to resume in September 2020.

Sally Marr… and Her Escorts: Joan Rivers Takes it All In

Joan Rivers gets in the zone in her dressing room before a performance of Sally Marr… and Her Escorts in 1994. Rivers both co-wrote and starred in the play. She was inspired to do so after hearing the stand-up comedy of Lenny Bruce, who is the son of the stand-up comic, Sally Marr, of which the play is based.

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Rivers, who as you probably guessed, played the role of Sally Marr, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play as well as a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. This was Joan Rivers’ third Broadway role. She also starred in Broadway Bound in 1986 and made her Broadway debut in 1972 as Jill Fairchild in Fun City.

The Play That Goes Wrong: Harrison Unger Gets Into Character

Actor Harrison Unger in full costume sits in the wings ready to perform as Dennis in The Play That Goes Wrong. After a successful run on the London stage, the play opened on Broadway in 2017 at the Lyceum Theatre. The production was produced by film director J.J. Abrams, making his debut as a theatrical producer.

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The Play That Goes Wrong won one Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play as well as a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play. It inspired a TV series titled The Goes Wrong Show which first broadcasted on the BBC in December 2019.

Bandstand: Laura Osnes Takes Her Look Back a Few Decades

Laura Osnes in her dressing room, preparing for her performance as Julia Trojan in the Broadway production of Bandstand. Osnes was part of the original cast both at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2015 and on Broadway in 2017.

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Image: BroadwayBox

The production won the Tony Award for Best Choreography as well as two Drama Desk Wards for Outstanding Orchestrations and Outstanding Choreography. Prior to Bandstand, Osnes already had a pretty impressive Broadway track record, starring as Sandy in the production of Grease, Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde, and Cinderella in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

Spongebob Squarepants: Ethan Slater Gets Zen

Breakout star, Ethan Slater does some yoga in his dressing room as part of his 90-minute pre-show warmup to play SpongeBob at the Palace Theatre. The musical, Spongebob Squarepants which is based on the hit Nickelodeon animated series of the same name, first premiered on Broadway in December 2017.

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Image: BroadwayBox

After its premier, the show received 12 Tony Award nominations and won one for Best Scenic Design of a Musical. Slater also earned himself a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.

Summer, The Donna Summer Musical: LaChanze Stuns On and Off Stage

Rhonda LaChanze Sapp, known professionally as LaChanze, makes some final touch-ups before taking the stage as Diva Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. The musical premiered on Broadway in April 2018 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

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Image: BroadwayBox

During its run, LaChanze received a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. This was her third Tony nomination, one of which she won in 2006 for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her role in The Color Purple.

Wicked: Jackie Burns Getting Ready to Defy Gravity

Revisiting the Wicked dressing room, here’s Jackie Burns getting suited up for her “Wizard and I” look. Burns played the role of Elphaba from 2011-2013 and again from 2017 until 2018. In addition to Wicked, she also appeared in big-name productions like If/Then and Hair.

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Image: BroadwayBox

Funny enough, Burns was actually Idina Menzel’s standby for the role of Elizabeth in If/Then and later replaced her as the full-time Elizabeth in the productions national tour. Menzel was also the person who originated the role of Elphaba back in 2003.