By Ben Rimalower
05 Aug 2013
This was not an easy list to make, and I know I'm going to get hate mail for some of my choices. You can't please everybody, and when it comes to divas, passions run high. I may even send myself a nasty comment or two in a couple of weeks when I look back, but here goes.
Honorable mention must be given to a few shows that don't make the Top Ten. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black's Song and Dance (or, rather, its first act, Tell Me On a Sunday) is an exciting showcase for a diva and it won Bernadette Peters her first Tony, but for me, it's sort of cheating to call a one-act song cycle a diva vehicle. Part my personal litmus test for a diva vehicle is how much a diva can shine across the breadth of an entire show.
Similarly, the Tony-nominated musicals Grey Gardens and Wicked don't make my list because they require their leading ladies to share the spotlight with a co-starring role of nearly equal size. You could argue this doubles the pleasure, but being a diva isn't about sharing. What's wonderful about Grey Gardens and Wicked ultimately lessens their ranking as singular diva vehicles. And finally, Bells Are Ringing is an honorable mention because, as a diva vehicle, I like it just a little bit less than the Top Ten, but it's clearly still a truly great diva vehicle.
Click through to read the Top Ten Diva vehicles in musical theatre. Continued...