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7 Broadway Supporting Players to Watch Out for This Season

Category Broadway

|by Mark Robinson |


These actors are giving stellar performances in supporting roles

As lovers of Broadway musicals, we spend a lot of time fawning over the talented and amazing leads in shows on the Great White Way. It stands to reason, since we love to see performers at the top of their game. Not every performer who dazzles, however, is cast in a leading role, and today we thought we’d show a little love to some of the supporting players who are currently lighting up Broadway in a big way, featuring actors from Beetlejuice, Hadestown and beyond. 

Leslie Kritzer and Adam Dannheisser in ‘Beetlejuice’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Leslie Kritzer and Adam Dannheisser in ‘Beetlejuice’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Leslie Kritzer – Beetlejuice
Alex Brightman is certainly doing his share to incite laughter as the title character in Broadway’s Beetlejuice, but he is not the only one going the extra mile to make sure we leave the theater in stitches. Leslie Kritzer, who is playing the kooky Delia Deetz in the show, is proving to be an audience favorite. Playing one of those fabled stepmothers of fairytale archetypes that you just cannot stand, Kritzer dives into Delia’s absurdity with abandon, making a meal out of this great supporting role. Kritzer has also appeared on Broadway in Sondheim on Sondheim, Something Rotten, Elf and A Catered Affair.

André De ShieldsHadestown
A Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actor in a Musical is only one of the many accolades received by André De Shields this past award season, celebrated for his relentlessly energetic turn as Hermes in Hadestown. We all knew he had it in him. De Shields has been wowing Broadway for decades, having played the title character in the original Broadway production of The Wiz. He was part of the five-person ensemble of the hit Broadway revue Ain’t Misbehavin’ and he played Noah “Horse” T. Simmons in the 2000 musical The Full Monty. Possessing a crackling verve and distinctive sound, De Shields has proven to be our perfect escort to Hadestown.

Alex Boniello – Dear Evan Hansen
Alex Boniello ably stepped into the shoes left vacant by Tony nominee Mike Faist when he departed Dear Evan Hansen. Boniello, of course, plays Connor Murphy in the hit musical, bringing his own unique gifts to the role of a troubled youth who has committed suicide and left behind a lot of unanswered questions. Boniello just completed his 500th performance in Dear Evan Hansen. Boniello made his Broadway debut in the Deaf West Theatre production of Spring Awakening, wherein he provided the voice for the character of Moritz. Boniello is also a producer of Hadestown as a member of KAYLAVLEX Theatricals.

Barrett Wilbert Weed – Mean Girls
Playing Janis Sarkisian in the “totally fetch” musical Mean Girls, Barrett Wilbert Weed rocks that unconventional, best-friend-who-tells-it-like-it-is vibe. This is her second outing in a Broadway musical, having first appeared on the Great White Way as an understudy in Lysistrata Jones. In Act Two of Mean Girls, Barrett Wilbert Weed gets to really shine when she sings out that affirmation of individuality, “I’d Rather Be Me.”

Ali StrokerOklahoma!
Not only is she a rip-roarin’ firecracker of an Ado Annie Carnes in the Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, but Ali Stroker has also proven an inspiration to all. Having won a 2019 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Stroker, who is physically disabled, did it while in a wheelchair. Stroker’s determination and her positivity, paired with her myriad talents, have proven a role model to anyone who faces obstacles. In 2015, Stroker made her Broadway debut as Anna in the Deaf West Theatre production of Spring Awakening.

Sahr Ngaujah – Moulin Rouge!
Even with all of the opulence at the center of Broadway’s latest spectacle, Moulin Rouge!, it is the heart of the performers singing, dancing and acting amidst the velvet and lights that really make the windmill turn. One of them is Sahr Ngaujah, who plays the role of artist Henri de Toulouse Latrec. Ngaujah brings a zesty confidence and a touch of offbeat wackiness to the role. His other Broadway credit is for playing the title character in the 2009 musical FELA!, a role for which he received a Tony nomination.  

Noah Galvin – Waitress
We all warmed up to the charms of Noah Galvin as a Broadway performer immediately when he was the first actor to take over the role of the title character in Dear Evan Hansen. His wide-eyed openness and his clever turn of a phrase were apparent in the sitcom The Real O’Neals, where he played the Catholic teenager Kenny who has just decided to come out of the closet to his family. After a recent stint Off-Broadway in Alice By Heart, Galvin has returned to Broadway to play Ogie in the long-running musical hit Waitress.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His forthcoming book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, will hit the shelves in October, 2019. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.

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