12 March 2012

Favorite actor-singers

  • Kristin Chenoweth - great comic actor, operatically trained voice which makes everything sound easy, transitions effortlessly between pop/jazz/opera/legit musical theatre
  • Victoria Clark - has such a sweetness and optimism in her mannerisms and singing
  • Audra McDonald - has a voice to die for and four Tonys to prove her acting prowess, love her muscular arms
  • Kelli O'Hara - classically beautiful soprano, exudes class and professionalism
  • Marin Mazzie - beautiful, classically-trained voice with impeccable technique, fantastic dramatic actor (especially Sondheim), does my favorite rendition of "Losing My Mind"
  • Megan Hilty - just getting familiar with her, but she's great on Smash
  • Alice Ripley - known for her unique voice and intense belt (check out her belt face), probably the most versatile performer on this list, equally comfortable singing legit/pop/rock and doing comedy or drama, gives my all-time favorite performance in next to normal
  • Jenna Russell - great actor, saw her in Sunday in the Park with George
  • Raúl Esparza - unique, rich voice, great acting in Company
  • Brian d'Arcy James - fantastic, rich voice with impeccable technique (watch his mouth when he sings "I've Been"), touching performance in next to normal
  • George Hearn - Mr. Sweeney Todd!, near-operatic, classically trained booming voice
Actor-singer pretty much means musical theatre, though Carmen is a fine operatic acting role. I notice a lot of sopranos on my list. Maybe I like that voice type, because all the contemporary music is squashed into the alto-tenor range. Musical theatre is getting that way, too. It seems like all the guys sing tenor and all the women sing mezzo-soprano. Musical theatre composers: please write more roles for baritones and sopranos (I mean legit soprano roles, not sopranos singing low)! Altos and basses, too! We want variety in our singing.

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