By Carey Purcell
29 Apr 2014
Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva
Giving a spirited performance as the fiery Helen McCormick in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Sarah Greene made a memorable Broadway debut as the love interest of Daniel Radcliffe who has a penchant for cracking eggs on her brother's head — and just about anything else around her. Greene's performance infused the role of a local tough girl with vulnerability and heart.
Going from Walter White to Lyndon Baines Johnson, Bryan Cranston made a memorable Broadway debut starring in All The Way as the 36th President of the United States. Emmy winner and "Breaking Bad" star Cranston gave a magnetic performance as the tough-talking, rough-mannered President who would stop at nothing to achieve his goals, giving an impassioned personal edge to the historical drama.
Starring alongside James Franco in Of Mice and Men, Chris O'Dowd gave a heartfelt performance as Lenny, the good-hearted farm hand who dreams of "living off the fat of the land" but is doomed to a tragic ending. Dowd, who has appeard in the films "Gulliver's Travels," "Bridesmaids" and "This Is 40," earned a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut.
Playing Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, LaTanya Richardson Jackson fought numerous onstage battles with formidable performers that include Anika Noni Rose, Sophie Okonedo and Denzel Washington. As the dignified matriarch of the Younger family, Jackson, who has performed on Broadway in Joe Turner's Come and Gone, compellingly portrayed Lena's determination to build a better life for her family while fighting the prejudices that they faced from society.
Brian J. Smith
Playing the young man who instills the Wingfield family with hope, and then heartbreak, Brian J. Smith's performance as the Gentleman Caller in Tennessee Williams' memory play, The Glass Menagerie, garnered him a Tony nomination. Smith has previously tread the boards in The Columnist and Come Back, Little Sheba, but The Glass Menagerie marks his first recognition from the Tonys.
James Monroe Iglehart
Giving a performance of unsurpassable energy and showmanship, James Monroe Iglehart's work as the Genie in Aladdin earned him his first Tony nomination. Iglehart, whose stage credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Memphis, brings a whirlwind of energy to the songs "A Friend Like" and "Prince Ali."