Top 10 Broadway Musical Villains

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Top 10 Broadway Musical Villains

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Christopher Lozano
These are the most ICONIC Broadway Musical villains, because let's be honest, no story is complete without a great villain. For this list, we'll be looking at evil Broadway characters who we love to hate, from Macavity in “Cats”, to Judge Turpin from “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (1979). We're excluding anti-heroes, so characters like Javert from “Les Misérables” won't appear on this list. Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for Top 10 Broadway Musical Villains!
Transcript

Top 10 Broadway Musical Villains


No story is complete without a great villain. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Broadway Musical Villains.

For this list, we’ll be looking at evil Broadway characters who we love to hate. We’re excluding anti-heroes, so characters like Javert from “Les Misérables” won’t appear on this list.

#10: Ursula

“The Little Mermaid”
The evil sea witch from the stage adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” was originally played by the fantastic Sherie Rene Scott, who had appeared in other Broadway shows such as “Rent,” “Grease,” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Ursula is the sister of King Triton and was once charged with ruling the seas along with her brother. However, having half of absolute power over their watery domain wasn’t absolute enough. She was banished for trying to overthrow her brother and waited until she saw an opportunity for revenge in the naïve Ariel. That’s pretty messed up behavior for an aunt!

#9: Jud Fry

“Oklahoma!”
This Broadway classic is set in the small town of Claremore and tells the story of two rivals and their desire for Laurey Williams’ heart. One of the rivals is Curly McLain; the other is the villainous Jud Fry. In fact, the quiet and brooding farmhand has developed an obsession with Laurey. The presence of other suitors, namely Curly, drives Jud to drastic actions. He reveals, through his song “Lonely Room,” just how desperate he is and just how far he is willing to go. His possessiveness definitely gives us the creeps.

#8: Macavity

“Cats”
The Mystery Cat known also as the Hidden Paw is this classic’s main villain. He has a reputation for being a master criminal and having a knack for evading capture. It’s claimed that he’s broken every law that has been written. We’d say one of the creepiest things about him is how he moves, but... they all move like that. The character is actually based on Moriarty, the villain from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. In “Cats,” he captures the leader of the Jellicle, Old Deuteronomy and tries to take his place. He is found out, but escapes before he can be captured.

#7: Jafar

“Aladdin”
Slinking through the shadows of the Sultan’s palace is Jafar, the Grand Vizier of Agrabah. Although he wields an unsettling amount of power through his influence over the Sultan, Jafar isn’t satisfied. Evil villains like him usually aren’t. It’s Jafar’s plan to retrieve the magical lamp from the Cave of Wonders that essentially puts the whole story’s plot into motion. He uses Aladdin to get what he wants, and through the Genie’s power, makes himself Sultan. He also demands to be made into an all-powerful genie. He’s granted this wish with and is then magically chained to his own lamp, doomed to be a servant. Careful what you wish for, kids!

#6: The Thenardiers

“Les Miserables”
This morally bankrupt couple are the definition of horrible hosts. Despite being seemingly cheerful people, they don’t keep up their inn very well, they serve terrible food, and they charge for ridiculous extras. In the musical, they have one daughter and are entrusted with taking care of Cosette. As you might expect from such a story, they treat her poorly. Later in the tale, they plot to rob Valjean and discover his secret. We really wish that this terrible couple had received a more significant punishment for their actions.

#5: Bill Sikes

“Oliver!”
This brutal villain is a member of Fagin’s gang and husband of Nancy. He’s basically a violent thief. He is portrayed as being abusive to his wife, who the audience wishes would just leave him. During the course of the story, Bill intends to beat the poor orphan Oliver but is stopped by his loving wife. In both the novel and stage adaptation, he horrifically murders Nancy. The character has been portrayed in many adaptations by many actors, but one of the most famous is Oliver Reed. Of course, anytime a villain is played by Tim Curry on the big screen, you know he’s evil.

#4: Scar

“The Lion King”
Not only is he one of the best Broadway villains ever, but he’s also one of the best villains of the 90s. Scar is a Shakespearean character modeled after Claudius, the uncle of Hamlet and murderer of Hamlet’s father. Scar envied Mufasa’s reign as king and plotted behind his back to usurp him. He engineers the events of the story by manipulating poor Simba, ultimately causing Mufasa’s death and Scar’s ascension to the throne. It takes a while, but Simba eventually returns to claim it. Scar’s betrayal of Mufasa and manipulation of Simba make him one of the most reprehensible villains of Broadway.

#3: Miss Hannigan

“Annie”
Having a hard knock life can sometimes push you to drinking and general grumpiness. This is the case with Miss Hannigan, the owner of a child sweatshop and orphanage where little Annie is living. Hannigan is hard-drinking and takes out her frustrations on the orphans. We’d feel more sympathy for her if she wasn’t so mean and didn’t keep all the money from the dresses to herself. In the end, she gets what’s coming to her after plotting to steal Annie back. We love you, Miss Hannigan!

#2: Judge Turpin

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (1979)
In this musical that’s full of butchery, mayhem, and murder, there are many villains. However, the one that stands out the most is the vile Judge Turpin. There isn’t much worse than a person with authority abusing those whom they’re charged with serving. That’s the case with Judge Turpin who commits some horrible acts during the story and easily earns his spot on our list. He’s so bad that we almost don’t mind the lady who grinds up people and feeds them to customers in the form of meat pies.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions.

Velma Von Tussle
“Hairspray”

King George III
“Hamilton”

Caiaphas
“Jesus Christ Superstar”

Miss Trunchbull
“Matilda the Musical”

Gaston
“Beauty and the Beast”

#1: Audrey II

“Little Shop of Horrors”
This villain just goes to show that even plants can be jerks. One day, flower shop worker Seymour Krelborn is strolling along, looking for new flowers, when there’s a total eclipse of the sun. Suddenly, a strange plant appears. It is the Audrey II. Da Doo. Named after Seymour’s crush, Audrey II isn’t as nice. It turns out that the extra-terrestrial plant eats humans and has plans for global conquest. In true Faustian fashion, Audrey II manipulates Seymour into doing his bidding by promising to hook him up with Audrey. The best thing this alien succulent did was eat that jerk dentist (x-ref Orin Scrivello).
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