1. Idina Menzel in “If/Then”
After 10 torturous years without her, NYC theatre will once again be graced by Ms. Idina Menzel. Racking up quite the impressive list of film and TV credits - including Disney’s “Frozen” and appearances on “Glee,” Ms. Menzel has hardly been slacking. However, we all know that the RENT and Wicked alum truly belongs in the spotlight of a Broadway stage. She’ll make her triumphant return in this Spring’s If/Then, a brand new musical also starring fellow RENT-ee Anthony Rapp.
2. Carly Rae Jepsen in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but my Fairy Godmother only gave me til midnight until my gorgeous dress turns back into a burlap sack and my carriage turns into a rotting pumpkin, so here’s my glass shoe, find me maybe.
3. Fran Drescher in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
DAT VOICE + some hilariously wicked one-liners = potential for Fran Drescher to SLAY Broadway with her portrayal of the Evil Stepmother alongside Carly Rae in Broadway’s Cinderella.
4. Megan Mullally (with bonus Nick Offerman) in Annapurna
Just let it sink in that this real-life couple and comedy dream team will be starring on stage together in 2014’s Off-Broadway production of Annapurna. Megan Mullally will star in the show alongside her hubby in a new play about lovers reuniting after years of estrangement. TAMMY + RON FOREVER.
5. Betsy Wolfe in Bullets Over Broadway
Get ready to add Betsy Wolfe to your list of iconic ladies in Woody Allen productions. When Allen’s hit film “Bullets Over Broadway” transfers to the stage this spring, Wolfe will play Ellen, the gutsy girlfriend of Zach Braff’s playwright character. You may have seen Ms. Wolfe in the Tony-nominated revivial of The Mystery of Edwin Drood or the Off-Broadway revival of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years - but trust us, this will be her role to watch.
6. Patina Miller in Pippin… and MOCKINGJAY!
We’re just going to come out and say it… we *more than kind of* wish we were Patina Miller. While technically she has been in Broadway’s Pippin since 2013, Patina firmly deserves a spot on this list. Not only is she utterly FANTASTIC as the show’s Leading Player, with a Tony win to prove it, but she nabbed a pivotal role in 2014-2015’s upcoming two-part adaptation of the final “Hunger Games” movie, “Mockingjay”. Mark our words - this woman is a bonafide superstar in the making.
7. Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
It takes a woman of formidable talent, gumption, and sheer guts to play someone as iconic as singer-songwriter Carole King, so it’s a good thing the casting gods gave us Jessie Mueller. Playing one half of the epic King-Goffin songwriting team, Mueller’s performance in Beautiful makes it hard to remember she’s not actually King herself.
8. Toni Braxton in After Midnight
Toni Braxton will take the stage in March following Fantasia Barrino & KD Lang in After Midnight, rounding out an impressive roster of stars showcasing Harlem’s golden age in one of Broadway’s hottest nights.
9. Tyne Daly in Mothers & Sons
Returning to Broadway in this spring’s upcoming Terrence McNally play Mothers and Sons, theatre novices may know Tyne Daly from another motherly role - that of Derek Shepherd’s mom on “Grey’s Anatomy”, or Det. Lacey of “Cagney & Lacey.” Theatre geeks will also know that she won a Tony for her knockout performance as Mama Rose in “Gypsy,” and just for exhibiting general fierceness at all times.
10. Kelli O’Hara in The Bridges of Madison County
Want to talk about pressure? Snag a role last portrayed by queen of acting and all things amazing, MERYL STREEP. Luckily, Broadway vet Kelli O’ Hara has the chops to tackle such an immense undertaking. From Nice Work If You Can Get It, to South Pacific and The Pajama Game, Kelli O’ Hara has cemented a position as one of Broadway’s most vibrant leading ladies. Catch her in the new romantic musical adaption of The Bridges of Madison County starting in February.