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Broadway’s Best 2019: Five Fun Facts


Clare Halse and Philip Bertioli. Photo by Brinkhoff/Moegenburg.

42nd Street

  1. With a cast of nearly 60 people, this blockbuster production of 42nd Street boasted the largest cast in the West End and the largest cast in the show’s nearly 40-year history. Total number of costumes? 623. Total number of wigs? 107.
  2. Each 42ndStreet finale costume has approximately 2,000 sequins on it.

Kelli O’Hara and Billy Marlow. © Matthew Murphy.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I

  1. Kelli O’Hara earned her first Olivier Award nomination for her portrayal of Anna in The King and I. It was her West End debut.
  2. What keeps Kelli O’Hara’s iconic hoop skirt from flying up as she waltzes with the King in the “Shall We Dance” number? Nearly three pounds of steel weights sewn into the bottom of the costume.

Alfred Molina and Alfred Enoch in Red. Photo by Johan Persson.


  1. When Red opened on Broadway in 2010, it won six Tony Awards, including Best Play. Alfred Molina received a Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of artist Mark Rothko.
Much Ado About Nothing

Margaret Odette, Tiffany Denise Hobbs, Olivia Washington, and Danielle Brooks in the Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Kenny Leon at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park May 21-June 23, 2019. Photo by Joseph Sinnott.

Much Ado About Nothing

  1. “I wanted to be a part of Shakespeare in the Park because it’s one of those things every New York actor wants to do. Like being on an episode of Law and Order.” –Danielle Brooks (Beatrice)
  2. Much Ado About Nothing is Juilliard grad Danielle Brooks’s first professional Shakespeare play. Prior to her own performance, she had never seen a black actress play the lead role of Beatrice, and she’s the first black actress to play the role at the Delacorte Theater.

     “This is the first time I’ve seen a Beatrice be dark-skinned and plus-size.”

  3. “I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest,” is Danielle Brooks’s favorite line to say at each performance. (It’s Grantham Coleman’s favorite line too.)

The Cast of Kinky Boots. Photo credit: Matt Crocket

Kinky Boots

  1. Kinky Boots costume designer Gregg Barnes found inspiration for the characters’ looks in sources ranging from the British TV series Coronation Street (which is set in a bra factory) and RuPaul’s Drag Race to a visit to the WJ Brooks Shoe Company, the real-life shoe factory where the story is set.
  2. SHOE FUN FACTS: There are 216 pairs of shoes/boots in Kinky Boots. Lola, Charlie, and the Angels wear the highest heels: six inches.


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