theater The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
10.3k votes 1.2k voters 18.1k 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.

list ordered by

1
380 149
Kristin Chenoweth is listed (or ranked) 1 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.

2
460 201
Ranker Video
Idina Menzel age 47 - Originated the role of Maureen in Rent.

3
307 130
Ranker Video
Sutton Foster age 43 - Won a Tony Award for her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

4
277 119
Ranker Video
Audra McDonald age 48 - Recipient of five Tony Awards.

5
128 32
Lea Salonga is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Guian Carlo C. Labo added Lea Salonga age 47

6
128 39
Phillipa Soo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Phillipa Soo

7
128 40
Renée Elise Goldsberry is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Renée Elise Goldsberry age 47

8
137 48
Laura Osnes is listed (or ranked) 8 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.

9
235 116
Patti LuPone is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
162 82
Ranker Video
Kelli O'Hara age 41 - Has received four Tony Award nominations in her career.

11
193 105
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
65 12
Bernadette Peters is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Shelley Anne Thompson added Bernadette Peters age 70

13
110 52
Jessie Mueller is listed (or ranked) 13 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,

14
139 78
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 45

The Best Broadway Stars of the 21st Century

15
76 29
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
177 116
Ranker Video
Megan Hilty age 37 - Played Glinda in the ever-popular Wicked.

17
84 41
Ranker Video
jessie-gurniak added Kara Lindsay Original Katherine in Newsies. Glinda in Wicked in December 2014

18
143 91
Lea Michele is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
161 111
Anna Kendrick is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Anna Kendrick age 32 - A Little Night Music at the New York City Opera

20
195 153
Kerry Ellis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
MariaParhomenko added Kerry Ellis age 38 - Well-known for her lead roles in Wicked, Oliver!, Les Misérables.

21
91 56
Annaleigh Ashford is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Annaleigh Ashford age 32 - Wicked, Legally Blonde, Dogfight, Kinky Boots, Hair, You Can't Take it With You, Sylvia

The Best Movies About Art & Artists

22
118 88
Ranker Video
Bebe Neuwirth age 60 - Remembered for playing Nickie in a revival of Sweet Charity.

23
82 57
Krysta Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
67 44
Lindsay Mendez is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Lindsay Mendez age 32 - Dogfight, Wicked, Grease, Everyday Rapture

25
96 78
Shoshana Bean is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Wicked_ForGood added Shoshana Bean age 40

26
69 49
Christine Ebersole is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
nretherford added Christine Ebersole age 64

27
39 20
Barrett Wilbert Weed is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Barrett Wilbert Weed

28
37 19
Cynthia Erivo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Cynthia Erivo

The Best Boxers of the 21st Century

29
91 77
Eden Espinosa is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Wicked_ForGood added Eden Espinosa age 39

30
68 51
Laura Bell Bundy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Laura Bell Bundy age 36 - Amber in Hairspray. Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

31
114 110
Willemijn Verkaik is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
Wicked_ForGood added Willemijn Verkaik age 42

32
65 55
Ranker Video
Anika Noni Rose age 45 - Remembered for her performance as Emmie in Caroline, or Change.

33
30 20
Judy Kuhn is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Judy Kuhn age 59

34
82 82
Patina Miller is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
PaulJ.Hernandez added Patina Miller age 33

35
24 15
Laura Michelle Kelly is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Laura Michelle Kelly age 36

The Best Musicals Based on Movies

36
63 62
Ranker Video
Heather Headley age 44 - Originated the role of Nala in the The Lion King on Broadway.

37
19 12
Taylor Louderman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Taylor Louderman

38
64 66
Ranker Video
Tyne Daly age 72 - Most recently performed in Mothers and Sons.

39
67 71
Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
jessie-gurniak added Emma Stone Replaced Michelle Williams as Sally in Cabaret.

40
10 1
Laura Dreyfuss is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
1523912477331 added Laura Dreyfuss Original Zoe Murphy

41
22 19
Liz Callaway is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Liz Callaway age 56

42
21 18
Kerry Butler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Kerry Butler age 46

The Best Serial Dramas of the 21st Century

43
19 19
Katie Rose Clarke is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Katie Rose Clarke age 33

44
35 40
Ranker Video
Mandy Gonzalez Remembered for her portrayal of Elphaba in Wicked.

45
17 17
Caissie Levy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Caissie Levy age 36

46
15 15
Rachelle Ann Go is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Rachelle Ann Go age 31

47
53 59
Ranker Video
Andrea Martin age 71 - Won a Tony Award for her work in My Favorite Year.

48
44 54
Ranker Video
Vanessa Williams age 55 - Debuted in 1994 in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

49
48 54
Ranker Video
21olijas added Ruthie Henshall age 50 - Debut Chicago 2001

50
12 14
Rachel Tucker is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Female Broadway Stars of the 21st Century
typoqueen added Rachel Tucker age 36