Smash Star Katharine McPhee’s 7 Favorite Theatregoing Experiences

Favorite Things   Smash Star Katharine McPhee’s 7 Favorite Theatregoing Experiences
Favorites of the American Idol finalist, who makes her Café Carlyle debut this month, include Bernadette Peters, Ben Platt, and more.
Favorite_Things_Katherine McPhee_HR

Katharine McPhee, who played Karen Cartwright on the NBC making-of-a-Broadway-musical series Smash, will make her Café Carlyle debut with a show comprising jazz standards later this month. McPhee, who was also a finalist in the fifth season of American Idol, will offer I Fall In Love Too Easily (also the name of her fifth solo recording) November 21–25 at the intimate nightspot. Here, the singing actor, who boasts a rangy, silky alto, details the performances that most affected her as part of the audience.

For reservations to McPhee's nightclub engagement, call (212) 744-1600 or visit Ticketweb.

Deanna Dunagan in August: Osage County

Deanna Dunagan in August: Osage County
Deanna Dunagan in August: Osage County Joan Marcus

I remember being floored from her performance. There was this one incredible monologue that she gave, and it is probably my favorite performance I’ve seen on Broadway.

Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods

Into_the_Woods_Broadway_Production_Photo_1987_Bernadette Peters_HR.jpg
Bernadette Peters in the original Broadway production of Into the Woods Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

I grew up to be a huge fan of Bernadette. During my sophomore year of high school, our musical was Into the Woods, and I was cast as Little Red Riding Hood, and surprisingly I wasn’t too familiar with her character. Although I did not see Peters’ performance on Broadway, I watched the video of the original cast over and over again! It’s difficult to see anyone else play the part because she put such a stamp on it. She flourishes as the grande dame of Broadway.

Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen HR01.jpg
Ben Platt Matthew Murphy

I can’t imagine anyone ever playing this role other than him. It was that iconic!

Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked

Kristin Chenoweth in <i>Wicked</i>
Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked Joan Marcus

She was absolutely adorable in this role. Mesmerizing beauty and comedic timing at its best. I wanted to be her for a while.

Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Jessie Mueller in <i>Beautiful</i>
Jessie Mueller in Beautiful Joan Marcus

I fell in love with her when she made her Broadway debut in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Jessie’s jazzy-smooth voice is instantly one to idolize. So I knew she wouldn’t disappoint in the musical Beautiful. But seeing her in it was so inspiring, and I fell even more in love with her acting ability as well as her voice. Her choices were strong and bold, and now I really like to try and see everything she does.

My Smash alum, Leslie Odom, Jr. in Hamilton

Leslie Odom, Jr and the company of<i> Hamilton</i>
Leslie Odom, Jr and the company of Hamilton Joan Marcus

The sense of pride he exuded while performing in the show was absolutely thrilling. His voice was like butter, as I’ve always known it to be, and his charisma is stellar.

Sutton Foster in Thoroughly Modern Millie

Sutton Foster in <i>Thoroughly Modern Millie</i>
Sutton Foster in Thoroughly Modern Millie Joan Marcus

If I could go back in time and be able to play any role, it would be this one! But I wouldn’t be able to pull it off like she did. Her dancing and singing were complete perfection, and I think it was one of my most perfect Broadway moments of all time! I was living vicariously through her in every moment.


Click Here to Shop for Theatre
Merchandise in the Playbill Store
Recommended Reading: