Broadway is all about star power, but some headliners shine especially brightly. As our editorial staff considered the shows we’ve seen and enjoyed in 2011, six finalists emerged for the coveted title of Star of the Year: a pair of Tony-winning Broadway vets, an actor-turned-director-turned actor, two Broadway newcomers and a superstar who proved himself more than capable of carrying a huge musical. You get to pick the winner, so vote now for the 2011 Broadway.com Star of the Year! Voting ends on Tuesday, December 20 at midnight.
The nominees, in alphabetical order, are:
For blasting onto the Broadway scene with sex appeal and expert comic timing in Born Yesterday (banishing the ghost of Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn) and Venus in Fur (tantalizing Hugh Dancy in full S&M gear as a mysterious young actress).
For moving beyond the backstage drama and poisonous pre-opening buzz to create a compelling superhero with an appealing romantic streak—not to mention rock star vocal ability!—in the musical Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark.
For kicking her ingenue image to the curb (winning her second Best Actress Tony in the process) as lusty Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, leading an eight-minute tap number that would send plenty of chorus girls to the emergency room.
For making his old-school Back on Broadway concert one of the toughest tickets in town, proving that it’s perfectly OK for an action movie star to declare his love for musical theater eight times a week while shaking his bon-bon to “I Go to Rio.”
For stepping on a Broadway stage for the first time in almost two decades to give a shattering performance as Ned Weeks in The Normal Heart, then returning to the director’s chair to shepherd a flawless production of Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities.
For challenging himself to move from Harry Potter mega-fame to the musical stage, proving himself a master at singing, dancing Rob Ashford’s athletic choreography and charming audiences (in an American accent!) in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.