Theater The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
11.6k votes 1.4k voters 20.6k views 83 items

List Rules Vote up the best actresses who have performed on Broadway since 2000.

Female performers have taken Broadway by storm in the 21st century, with many talented women drawing audiences night after night. Many can be seen in the most popular Broadway shows, such as Wicked, while others are in smaller productions, but their talent has earned all of them a place on this list of the most amazing 21st century female Broadway stars.

When it comes to the best Broadway stars of the 21st century - male or female - can anyone forget Sutton Foster? Foster is a true triple threat, and both audiences and awards committees acknowledge her as such. As of 2014, she’d already captured two Tony Awards: Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for both Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes.

A few of the best female Broadway performers of the 21st century are just beginning their careers, but they will be sure not to disappoint audiences in the future. Leighton Meester, who shot to fame on the show “Gossip Girl,” will make her Broadway debut in 2014, starring in a production of Of Mice and Men.

On this list you’ll find the best female stars Broadway has to offer in the 21st century. Although a few of their names might be unfamiliar, you’re sure to hear about them in the coming years. Cast your votes below for the best 21st century female Broadway stars.

1
178 43
Lea Salonga is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Guian Carlo C. Labo added Lea Salonga age 47

2
420 180
Kristin Chenoweth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Wicked_ForGood added Kristin Chenoweth age 50 - Originated role of Glinda in Wicked.

3
506 232
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Idina Menzel age 47 - Originated the role of Maureen in Rent.

4
352 142
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Sutton Foster age 43 - Won a Tony Award for her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

5
309 132
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Audra McDonald age 48 - Recipient of five Tony Awards.

6
162 52
Renée Elise Goldsberry is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Renée Elise Goldsberry age 47

7
162 53
Phillipa Soo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Phillipa Soo

8
273 123
Patti LuPone is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
MegzW added Patti LuPone age 69 - Recipient of two Tony Awards, for Evita and Gypsy

9
158 54
Laura Osnes is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Laura Osnes age 33 - Won the revival cast role of Sandy in Grease from TV show You're The One That I Want. Original Bonnie in Bonnie & Clyde. Hope in Anything Goes revival. Ella in Cinderella.

10
100 18
Bernadette Peters is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Shelley Anne Thompson added Bernadette Peters age 70

11
225 113
Sierra Boggess is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
MegzW added Sierra Boggess age 36

12
140 55
Jessie Mueller is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Jessie Mueller age 32 - Original cast of Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. Revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Upcoming production of Waitress,

13
176 89
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Kelli O'Hara age 42 - Has received four Tony Award nominations in her career.

14
155 84
Stephanie J. Block is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
MegzW added Stephanie J. Block age 46

15
92 39
Jasmine Cephas Jones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Jasmine Cephas Jones

16
99 45
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jessie-gurniak added Kara Lindsay Original Katherine in Newsies. Glinda in Wicked in December 2014

17
188 123
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Megan Hilty age 37 - Played Glinda in the ever-popular Wicked.

18
106 60
Annaleigh Ashford is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Annaleigh Ashford age 33 - Wicked, Legally Blonde, Dogfight, Kinky Boots, Hair, You Can't Take it With You, Sylvia

19
68 25
Barrett Wilbert Weed is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Barrett Wilbert Weed

20
177 125
Anna Kendrick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Anna Kendrick age 33 - A Little Night Music at the New York City Opera

21
161 109
Lea Michele is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Lea Michele age 32 - Originated the role of Wendla in Spring Awakening

22
200 160
Kerry Ellis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
MariaParhomenko added Kerry Ellis age 39 - Well-known for her lead roles in Wicked, Oliver!, Les Misérables.

23
84 47
Lindsay Mendez is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Lindsay Mendez age 32 - Dogfight, Wicked, Grease, Everyday Rapture

24
128 93
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Bebe Neuwirth age 60 - Remembered for playing Nickie in a revival of Sweet Charity.

25
90 64
Krysta Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Krysta Rodriguez age 34 - Original cast in The Addams Family and First Date

26
106 82
Shoshana Bean is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Wicked_ForGood added Shoshana Bean age 41

27
82 56
Laura Bell Bundy is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Laura Bell Bundy age 37 - Amber in Hairspray. Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

28
45 22
Cynthia Erivo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Cynthia Erivo

29
76 54
Christine Ebersole is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
nretherford added Christine Ebersole age 65

30
96 80
Eden Espinosa is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Wicked_ForGood added Eden Espinosa age 40

31
35 15
Taylor Louderman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Taylor Louderman

32
41 23
Judy Kuhn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Judy Kuhn age 60

33
121 114
Willemijn Verkaik is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Wicked_ForGood added Willemijn Verkaik age 43

34
69 58
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Anika Noni Rose age 46 - Remembered for her performance as Emmie in Caroline, or Change.

35
88 85
Patina Miller is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
PaulJ.Hernandez added Patina Miller age 34

36
22 7
Laura Dreyfuss is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
1523912477331 added Laura Dreyfuss Original Zoe Murphy

37
30 21
Kerry Butler is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Kerry Butler age 47

38
27 18
Laura Michelle Kelly is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Laura Michelle Kelly age 37

39
67 65
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Heather Headley age 44 - Originated the role of Nala in the The Lion King on Broadway.

40
70 70
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Tyne Daly age 72 - Most recently performed in Mothers and Sons.

41
26 22
Caissie Levy is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Caissie Levy age 37

42
22 18
Rachelle Ann Go is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Rachelle Ann Go age 32

43
42 44
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Mandy Gonzalez Remembered for her portrayal of Elphaba in Wicked.

44
24 22
Liz Callaway is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Liz Callaway age 57

45
58 61
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Andrea Martin age 71 - Won a Tony Award for her work in My Favorite Year.

46
22 22
Katie Rose Clarke is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Katie Rose Clarke age 34

47
69 84
Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Emma Stone Replaced Michelle Williams as Sally in Cabaret.

48
17 17
Rachel Tucker is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Rachel Tucker age 37

49
52 58
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21olijas added Ruthie Henshall age 51 - Debut Chicago 2001

50
45 57
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Vanessa Williams age 55 - Debuted in 1994 in Kiss of the Spider Woman.