By Playbill Staff
30 May 2014
MATTHEW BLANK, Playbill.com Photo Editor
Miss Saigon in 1991.
The very first Tony Awards I recall watching. Jonathan Pryce's show-stopping "American Dream" had me totally transfixed. I was eight. My mom had to answer a lot of really awkward questions for me after that one.
The women of The Life performing "My Body."
I was only passively following Broadway at this point in my life (I was really focused on my rap career), but seeing this performance and hearing that high-energy song was a real shot in the arm. I had an "I forgot musicals were so awesome!" moment and dove back into theatre shortly after.
Tonya Pinkins singing "Lot's Wife" from Caroline, or Change.
I was just getting ready to move to New York and knew very little about the current season aside from Wicked and Avenue Q. I remember her gut-wrenching rendition of this masterpiece silencing everyone in the room as we watched on my couch in California. No one had any idea what it was about, and frankly it was kind of terrifying. But it was made clear that I needed to see this show as soon as possible. It's now one of my all-time favorites.
The opening number from a few seasons ago, "It's Not Just For Gays Anymore," still makes me laugh every time I think about it. Brilliant lyrics and a flawless performance from Neil Patrick Harris. I was at the dress rehearsal that year and got a sneak peek at this gem at 10 AM. It took all of my self control not to spill the beans before showtime. "Pick up a Playbill, and feel like a man!"
It's hard to think of anything quite as exciting as Andrew Rannells nailing "I Believe" from Book of Mormon. Flawless vocals and amazing stage (and screen) presence.