Mary Testa Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences

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Who does the singing actress think is a gift to the musical theatre?
Mary Testa HR
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Two-time Tony nominee Mary Testa, who can be heard on the new cast recording of Michael John LaChiusa's First Daughter Suite, which arrives on CD April 1, shares the performances that most affected her as part of the audience.

10. Comedians by Trevor Griffiths.


Loved this play, and Jonathan Pryce was phenomenal.

9. Floyd Collins by Adam Guettel.

Christopher Innvar, Jason Danieley, and Theresa McCarthy in <i>Floyd Collins</i>
Christopher Innvar, Jason Danieley, and Theresa McCarthy in Floyd Collins Joan Marcus

So wonderful. Every single performer. I must have listened to Jason Danieley and Chris Innvar sing “Daybreak” at least 6,000 times on my portable CD player. Yes, kids, I said portable CD player.

8. Whida Peru: Resurrection Tangle.

Whida Peru in <i>Resurrection Tangle</i>
Whida Peru in Resurrection Tangle James Leynse

Judy Blazer was ferocious in this. She is a personal friend, and I was deeply disappointed that she did not receive any Drama Desk action for her performance in this. She is pure gold.

7. Graciela Daniele's direction of Marie Christine.

Audra McDonald in <i>Marie Christine</i>
Audra McDonald in Marie Christine Joseph Marzullo/WENN

In my opinion, Graciela is the most underappreciated artist of our time. Her inventive, magical direction of Marie Christine was a joy to behold. And I should know. I watched Act One every night.

6. Giant.

Brian D&#39;Arcy James in <i>Giant</i>
Brian D'Arcy James in Giant Joan Marcus

Everyone knows that I adore Michael John LaChiusa and consider myself very fortunate indeed to perform his work, so I am biased. I thought his and Sybille Pearson's telling of this story spanning 27 years seamless and extraordinary.

5. Shaina Taub.

Shaina Taub
Shaina Taub

Deeply, deeply talented young woman. A gift to musical theatre.

4. The Debate Society. Buddy Cop 2, Blood Play, Jacuzzi.

Michael Cyril Creighton and Hannah Bos in <i>Blood Play</i>
Michael Cyril Creighton and Hannah Bos in Blood Play Sue Kessler

My friend Michael Cyril Creighton, who is often a featured player, turned me on to them. Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen and Oliver Butler are quirky and brilliant. My two favorite things. Looking forward to The Light Years.

3. Henry Stram in anything. Face of an angel, incredible actor. And Everett Quinton. Master.

Henry Stram and Everett Quinton Joseph Marzullo/WENN

I am cramming in two actors into number three, but I have to.

2. Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn.

Cast of <i>Mr. Burns</i>
Cast of Mr. Burns Monica Simoes

God, I loved this play.

1. Barbara Walsh, Caissie Levy, Betsy Morgan, Theresa McCarthy, Alison Fraser, Carly Tamer, Rachel Bay Jones and Isabel Santiago in First Daughter Suite.

Betsy Morgan, Barbara Walsh and Caissie Levy in <i>First Daughter Suite</i>
Betsy Morgan, Barbara Walsh and Caissie Levy in First Daughter Suite Photo by Joan Marcus

I had the great good fortune to listen to these ladies backstage every night while I played online backgammon. Fiercely talented, fully committed, extraordinary human beings. So lucky to be among them.

And just for the record, I have not seen Hamilton yet. I know. Sue me.

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