Nora Dominick ‘17/Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
Tony Award Winner Annaleigh Ashford is taking Broadway by storm once again this season with her latest role as the titular role in Sylvia. The play by A.R Gurney, opens on Broadway today and already has some buzz surrounding it.
Sylvia tells the story a middle-aged New York couple, whose world is turned upside down when the husband brings home an exceptionally engaging canine running loose in Central Park. The exceptional cast consists of Matthew Broderick, Julie White, Robert Sella and Annaleigh Ashford.
To celebrate Sylvia opening on Broadway, Emertainment Monthly: Stage has decided to countdown the “Top 10 Annaleigh Ashford Roles.” Happy Opening Sylvia!
One of her most memorable roles on Broadway was in the 2009 revival of Hair. Annaleigh Ashford replaced Kacie Sheik as Jeanie during the run of Hair. She jumped into the role of Jeanine along with several other replacements including Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Vanessa Ray and many others. She continued playing the role until the musical closed in June 2010.
In 2011, Annaleigh Ashford was part of the highly anticipated Off-Broadway revival of Rent at New World Stages. Ashford took on the role of Maureen, a role made popular by Idina Menzel. Ashford was joined by Adam Chanler-Berat, Corbin Reid and several others. Ashford made Maureen her own and allowed an entire new generation fans to fall in love with Rent. Click here to see Ashford and Reid perform, “Take Me or Leave Me” at the 2011 Broadway in Bryant Park.
8. Submissions Only
Submissions Only is a hilarious, Broadway-centric web series that follows a Broadway casting agent and the antics that ensue. It centers around aspiring actress Penny Reilly (Kate Wetherhead) and her friend, casting agency director Tim Trull (Colin Hanlon), and their circle of friends, colleagues, relationships and family. Ashford plays “Adorable Girl” and brings her natural ability of comedy to the role. To see full episodes of Submissions Only visit here and try to spy Ashford serving up some hilarious comedy.
7. Lost in the Stars at 54 Below
Lost in the Stars is a critically-acclaimed cabaret show starring Annaleigh Ashford. She originally performed the show at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Lost in the Stars turned heads in 2014 at 54 Below and earlier this year she took the cabaret show on the road. Annaleigh Ashford: Lost in the Stars – Live at 54 Below will be available on Nov. 13, 2015 so fans can enjoy the amazing music for years to come. Check out Annaleigh Ashford singing “Come Rain, Come Shine” at 54 Below here.
Dogfight is a musical with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and is based on the 1991 film of the same name. Dogfight tells the story of a group of young Marines who are about to be deployed to the conflict in Southeast Asia. The boys set out to have one last night of fun including partaking in a “Dogfight,” the boy with the ugliest date wins the money pot. Starring Derek Klena, Lindsay Mendez and Annaleigh Ashford opened Off-Broadway in 2012 and was met with critical acclaim. Check out Annaleigh Ashford singing “Dogfight” here.
5. Masters of Sex
Annaleigh Ashford is not only making a splash in the theater world, but she now has a major role on the hit Showtime drama, Masters of Sex. Ashford plays Betty Dimello, an opinionated woman with a frank understanding of her own sexuality. Betty is one of the first participants in Dr. Masters’ (Michael Sheen) study while working as a prostitute. She goes on to play an important role in Masters and Johnson’s (Lizzy Caplan) careers while continuing to forge her own path in the ways of love. Ashford has become a fan-favorite on Masters of Sex and fans hope she continues to play a crucial role. Check out Ashford at the Masters of Sex PaleyFest panel here.
One of Annaleigh Ashford’s biggest roles was when she took over the role of Glinda in Wicked. She began her run in Wicked in 2007 and became one of the most beloved Glinda’s in Wicked’s history. She brought her own personality to the beloved role and is still one of the most memorable actresses to take on the role. Ashford had previously played Glinda in the touring company of Wicked. Check out Ashford and Lisa Brescia singing the classic number “For Good” here.
3. Legally Blonde
Annaleigh Ashford’s Broadway debut as Margot in the musical Legally Blonde is still one her best roles to date. Her hilarious work in Legally Blonde introduced fans to her quirky, sweet and hilarious personality. Legally Blonde became a cult-classic musical as it brought music to the already beloved film starring Reese Witherspoon. Watch Annaleigh Ashford and the cast of Legally Blonde the musical singing “Omigod You Guys” here.
2. Kinky Boots
Kinky Boots is one of Annaleigh Ashford’s biggest roles and solidified her rank amongst some of the best Broadway actresses on Broadway today. Ashford originated the role of Lauren in the Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots. Her work as Lauren would earn her a 2013 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Watch Annaleigh Ashford singing “The History of Wrong Guys” here.
1. You Can’t Take It With You
Last season on Broadway, Annaleigh Ashford turned heads in the play You Can’t Take It With You. Annaleigh Ashford took on the role of Essie and stole the spotlight in a play filled with veteran and well-known actors. Her work as Essie earned her an Outer Critic Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Award last season. Ashford continues to astound with each project she does and her work in You Can’t Take It With You will go down as one of her best roles.