We couldn’t let the year come to a close without sharing a list of our our favorite badass females on the Broadway stage this past year. Hots, style, talent and beautiful hair — among other things — all factored into our selection process, but needless to say we’re pretty obsessed with the following twelve lovely ladies…
1. Betsy Wolfe
Ms. Wolfe has been a busy lady this year, between playing Beth in Merrily at Encores!, and Rosa Budd in Drood at The Roundabout, she also managed to star in 35MM in the spring and score the coveted role of Cathy in next year’s revival of The Last Five Years. Sure, she’s lovely, and talented, and she sings like a dream, but we’re pretty sure that creamy complexion/rosy cheek/flowing blonde locks combo she’s rocking hasn’t hurt at all, either.
2. Cristin Milioti
For a show like Once, no standard-issue belter girl would do. Enter pretty, pixie-ish Cristin Milioti, who manages to be both haunting and unaffected as Girl to Steve Kazee’s introspective Boy. Plus, the lady knows how to wear a dress. Her awards-season frocks bolstered our confidence in Broadway’s ability to look as glam as Hollywood, with half the effort.
3. Caissie Levy
Look, we’re just gonna come out with it here – Ghost star Caissie Levy has a bangin’ bod. With that tiny, tiiny waist and those beautiful boobs, it’s impossible not to have the hots for Caissie Levy. And when she opens her mouth to sing? Fuhgeddaboudid.
4. Kara Lindsay
Playing the perfect smaht girl and winning our hearts with the best song about the joy/anxiety of writing we’ve ever heard on Broadway, Newsies star Kara Lindsay tapped danced her way right into our heart. Looking like actual Disney princess—Belle, anyone?—never hurt, either.
5. Kelli O’Hara
But how gorg is Kelli O’Hara, though? Capable of brightening up a room all on her own, and without the aide of flattering lighting, she made even ugly Oxfords and a newsboy cap look good in Nice Work If You Can Get It. And if you think that was amazing, wait until you see the cavalcade of frocks that Catherine Zuber has hooked her up with in Far from Heaven…
6. Kate Arrington
Holding her own between two huge performances from Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon in Grace, Kate Arrington totally made us love her. It doesn’t hurt that she’s beautiful in the kind of way we dream of being – like a real woman, who just kind of glows as she flips her flowing locks back over her shoulder and smiles. Plus, she hooked Michael Shannon in real life, so, she’s clearly workin it. We could use some tips.
7. Christiane Noll
This lovely lady was the best thing about both Ragtime and Chaplin, but we still remember her fondly as a baby-faced Ellen in the first national tour of Miss Saigon. Several decades and a Tony nomination later, we’re pleased as punch whenever we see her name on the boards. She’s been there for two of the last four seasons, and we hope someone figures out how to get her there next year, too.
8. Kacie Sheik
Between frequent concert appearances around the city, and giving us lessons on how to have perfect hair all the time, Sheik also managed to bring a sense of lightness and joy to February House at the Public this spring. Throw in a blinding smile and that smoky-sexy vibe to her voice, and we’re in love. Besides. The woman played Gypsy Rose Lee, need we say more?
9. Nikki Renee Daniels
Audra ate the stage, but no character this year slayed us more than Clara in Porgy & Bess. Adorbs Nikki Renee Daniels played her with such pathos and warmth – a thing that she must be used to, with her airy soprano, and roles like Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and Sarah in Ragtime under her belt. This year, we also saw her kill it with Sondheim’s “There Won’t Be Trumpets” at a benefit for the NYCLU – all while wearing a sparkly gold dress and stilettos. Unlike Clara’s homespun mom gear, that’s pretty sexy.
10. Katie Holmes
She’s Joey Potter, Tom Cruise’s ex, and mom to the most stylish child who ever wore kitten heels to a play date. So it’s not exactly a surprise that Katie Holmes is… well… beautiful. What is a surprise is that she’s been brave enough to do this Broadway thing at all, never mind more than once. We give Katie props for her style, but also for her audacity – and for whatever insane gown she’ll wear to the Tonys in 2013.
11. Yvonne Strahovski
No one rocks the icy, vintage blond ouvre quite like Broadway newbie – and Aussie — Yvonne Strahovski. Slinking all nine feet of herself across the stage in a vast collection of insane 1930s costumes in Golden Boy, it’s easy to see how the casting folks pegged her as the ultimate New York dame. And how she would easily add to Joe Bonaparte’s considerable torture.
12. Elizabeth Stanley
Looking like a Bond Babe from the days of yore, and oozing sex and talent, Elizabeth Stanley was basically perfect for the role of Gussie in Merrily at Encores! In fact, Stanley is basically perfect for life and exactly who we want to be when we grow up.
Credit: BetsyWolfe.com, Jeff Vespa, Carrie Sipp Photography, Jenny Anderson, Broadway.com, Jenny Anderson, Broadway.com, Monica Simoes, nikkireneedaniels.com, observer.com, InStyle, Susan Shacter