Several stars with theatre ties made Variety’s 2017 New Power of New York list, which recognizes individuals who are using their art and activism to affect change and inspire. Among those recognized this year are Dear Evan Hansen Tony winner Ben Platt, The Color Purple Tony winner Cynthia Erivo, Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, and Frozen songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
Each of the selected individuals are honored with a written tribute from a close friend, loved one, or mentor. While the full list of names has been published, Variety will roll out the tributes over the next week.
Cynthia Erivo (tribute by Leslie Odom, Jr.)
“She’s a stunner. In that moment, literally seeing her grow from a child to a woman in a matter of hours, it was enough to take your breath away. Cynthia Erivo will take your breath away. She brought the lion and the wildfire to center stage each night during her triumphant run in the revival of The Color Purple on Broadway. The role won her a Tony and a Grammy as the business seemed to try its best to invent new ways to say 'Thank you' for what she conjured onstage each night.”
Oskar Eustis (tribute by Lin-Manuel Miranda)
“Oskar Eustis sees the good in you. You will play him what you’ve written. He will listen. In the most generous and expansive terms possible, he will describe what he is getting from the work. He will explain the moments that knock him out (you will be quite chuffed that he got it — indeed, that he gets it), and he will zero in on the moments that were not clear, or where he feels you are idling. “
Also included on the list: Jake Gyllenhaal, Greta Gerwig (with a tribute from Pulitzer-winning playwright Tracy Letts), Elisabeth Moss, Michael Moore, Stephen Colbert, and Ingrid Michaelson. Check out the full 2017 list here.