8 Broadway Leading Ladies Who Are Inspiring Us Right Now

Show-Score | By Steve Schonberg (@CntrOnTheAisle) | Dec 19, 2016

Broadway is full of incredible women, and these ladies are some of the most inspiring for their talent, beauty, and performances on stage right now.

(L-R) Ana Villafañe, Cynthia Erivo, Eloise Kropp (L-R) Ana Villafañe, Cynthia Erivo, Eloise Kropp | By Matthew Murphy
1. Moya Angela (“In Transit”)

(Photo: Joan Marcus)

“America’s Got Talent” contestant and Broadway performer Moya Angela could light up the whole subway system in her MetroCard dress. When she struts out, her energy owns the stage with fierce talent and lion-like confidence. Wow!

2. Stephanie J. Block (“Falsettos”)

(Photo: Joan Marcus)

#SquadGoals? No, #MomGoals! (Ok, Maybe both). Block has made “Trina” her own, stealing the show with her act one performance of “I’m Breaking Down”. Plus, her performance offers an important lesson in empathy. We worry for her as a mom trying to keep it together, but, we also admire her as an independent woman who chooses to define family based on love instead of tradition.

3. Amelie Van Tasse (“The Illusionists”)

(Photo: "The Illusionists")

Clairvoyant Amelie Van Tasse is stunning audiences at the Palace Theatre with her incredible mind-reading skills. Van Tasse, along with partner Thommy Ten, have helped make this year’s Broadway engagement the best “Illusionists” yet. We only hope she sees how much we admire her talent and beauty while scanning everything else that’s rattling around in our heads! 

4. Cate Blanchett (“The Present”)

(Photo: Steven Chee)

Speaking of mind readers, we’re predicting that Cate Blanchett will be a girl crush for many Broadway fans this season. She brings her unique glamour to the stage with her acting prowess and movie star dazzle — not to mention those perfect cheekbones and steely blue eyes!

5. Janet McTeer (“Les Liaisons Dangereuses”)

(Photo: Joan Marcus)

Janet McTeer exudes feminine power and appeal opposite Liev Schreiber as La Marquise De Merteuil. Her performance is a master class in the all-too-often forgotten art of allure. The play is a two and half hour power struggle and we, the audience, are the first to succumb to her feminine wiles.

6. Ana Villafañe (“On Your Feet!”)

(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Broadway newcomer Ana Villafañe’s portrayal of Gloria Estefan proves she was the perfect pick to play the pop icon. Villafañe, an alumnae of the same Catholic High School as Estefan, reminds us too that kismet is more than the name of a classic musical. It’s part of the secret sauce that inspires other performers — helping fuel their own Broadway dreams.

7. Cynthia Erivo (“The Color Purple”)

(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Erivo is proof that big things come in small packages. Her huge voice packs a serious punch paired with her emotional portrayal of Celie in “The Color Purple.” She takes us on Celie’s journey of self-realization — where we know she’s beautiful, well before Celie does. Erivo is beautiful off-stage too, a New York newbie who’s already made her mark on the city’s famed fashion scene.

8. Eloise Kropp (“Cats”)
(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

We were heartbroken when “Dames at Sea” closed so early in its run, primarily for its tap-tacular star, Eloise Kropp. Her first leading role on Broadway, Kropp was the show’s stand out and deserved more time in the spotlight. However, her Broadway career was only briefly on “paws,” now that she’s a featured member in Cats’ ensemble cast, as Jennyanydots!

  • Do you agree with our picks? Have others you'd like to add? Share in the comments below and we may just add them!