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Michael Musto's Definitive Ranking of the Top 10 Broadway Divas Onstage Today

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I love a Broadway star, especially one that's female and in musicals. And so, without an overture or any other further ado, here's my rundown of the 10 best we have going today. Hopefully this will quell those persistent claims of "They don't make 'em like they did in the old days!"

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1) Audra McDonald
She reads the phone book, she wins the Tony. She sings the phone book, and she deserves a Nobel. Audra is the most superb specimen we have on that musical stage, and after Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, her handful of naysayers seem to be gloriously silenced. Oh, and she's a great dramatic actress too. It's just plain shocking already.

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2) Sutton Foster
With six nominations and two Tonys to her credit, Sutton oozes range, polish, and professionalism. Her name might not incite riots of ticket buyers, but she's a talented, dependable Broadway diva (and TV star, too) who has shone from Thoroughly Modern Millie to Violet, and she is the second best we have. I'd pay to see her Hedwig.

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3) Kelli O'Hara

Boasting only five Tony nominations (lol) Kelli's a tad behind Sutton, but she'll probably nab another one for The King and I, and maybe she can finally win one, too. I didn't thrill to her toned-down Nellie Forbush, but mainly she's been full-throttle wonderful in shows like The Light in the Piazza, Pajama Game, and so on. Without becoming a superstar, she's definitely emerged as a reliable musical diva -- a performer of extraordinary skill and dedication.

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4) Kristen Chenoweth

An icon of all media, Kristen is returning to Broadway in a revival of On The Twentieth Century, playing a lacquered, diva-esque role that seems perfect for her talents. The woman's a real Broadway star.

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5) Idina Menzel

From Rent to If/Then, Idina specializes in quirky urban musicals -- and she actually sells tickets, too. Who says there are no stars on Broadway anymore? Those viewpoints are officially, uh, "frozen" in time.

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6) Patti LuPone
She shouldn't have to audition for shows. She shouldn't have to be rejected for anything either. In fact, people should be stepping up to write shows for her, then begging other people not to do them. That's my two cents.

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7) Bernadette Peters

Ditto.

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8) Donna Murphy

The woman can do virtually anything, from a witch to a woman who only looks like one. She deserves a star in front of Joe Allen.

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9) Jessie Mueller

A breakout hit from her first Broadway show, the gay On A Clear Day... revival, Jessie has gone on to triumph in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Beautiful (Tony award), and other musicals, working nonstop and proving she's got spunk, chops, and diversity. Her future will be lots of fun for us to watch.

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10) Laura Osnes
She's done Grease!, Anything Goes, Bonnie and Clyde, and Cinderella, always delivering crisp, engaging performances. She was edged out for a Tony by Patina Miller, so let me now give special shout-out status to Patina, along with Tonya Pinkins, Marin Mazzie, Christine Ebersole, Kerry Butler, Andrea Martin, Bebe Neuwirth, Carolee Carmello, Victoria Clark. Charlotte d'Amboise, Katie Finneran, Rebecca Luker, Jan Maxwell, and Laura Benanti. Brava, divas.


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