Top 10 Stars You Forgot Were in Musicals



Top 10 Stars You Forgot Were in Musicals

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
We completely forgot these celebrities were in musicals. Our countdown includes Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, Sarah Jessica Parker, and more!

Top 10 Celebrities You Forgot Were in Musicals

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrities You Forgot Were in Musicals.

For this list, we’ll be looking at actors, musicians, or other performers who have such a long list of accomplishments that their stage credits may have just slipped your mind. Since we’re focusing on on-stage experience only, movie musicals will not be considered.

Who’s the most famous face you’ve seen on stage? Let us know in the comments.

#10: Christina Applegate
“Sweet Charity” (2005)

With countless other roles and awards to her name, you may have forgotten that Christina Applegate is a Tony-nominated actress too. In 2005, she joined the Broadway cast of “Sweet Charity”, taking on the title role of Charity Valentine, as famously originated by Gwen Verdon and Shirley Maclaine. Marissa Tomei and Jenna Elfman were also considered for the role, but ultimately the producers thought that Applegate was a better fit. However, after breaking her foot during the show’s out-of-town tryouts, her future in the musical was in doubt. Fortunately, she recovered in time to make it to Broadway.

#9: Jordin Sparks
“In the Heights” (2010) & “Waitress” (2019)

Since becoming the youngest winner of “American Idol,” Jordin Sparks has become a multi-award nominated and platinum-selling recording artist. In 2010, she added Broadway star to her resume when she made her debut as Nina in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical “In The Heights”. She returned to Broadway again in 2019 to play Jenna, a talented pie baker and unexpecting mother-to-be in the Tony-nominated musical, “Waitress”. Of course, we already knew she had a beautiful voice, but the heartfelt emotion behind her solo numbers, “Breathe” and “She Used to Be Mine” never fail to leave us with chills.

#8: Melissa Benoist
“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” (2018)

Today she’s best known for her leading role in “Supergirl” but Melissa Benoist is no stranger to the world of musical theater, either. As a kid, she was heavily involved in community theater, and even got her breakout role playing Marley Rose in season four of “Glee”. But it was in the summer of 2018 when she finally got to live out her childhood dream of performing on stage, debuting in the role of Carole King in the biographical musical “Beautiful”. Benoist called the experience “really special,” and was even surprised by King herself one night during the curtain call.

#7: Emma Stone
“Cabaret” (2014)

While “La La Land” might be the movie that put her musical skills on the map, it wasn’t Stone’s first venture into the world of musical theater. In 2014, she starred as Kit Kat Club performer, Sally Bowles in the Studio-54 based revival of “Cabaret”. Stone was in talks to open the show but due to scheduling conflicts, ended up taking over from Michelle Williams later on in the run. While the role will always be synonymous with Broadway legend Liza Minelli, Stone brought a new charm to the role, which proved to be a huge hit with audiences as well.

#6: Anna Kendrick
“High Society” (1998) & “A Little Night Music” (2003)

Following the success of the “Pitch Perfect” franchise, as well as her roles in “Into the Woods” and “The Last 5 Years”, it’s hardly a secret that Anna Kendrick is a triple threat. However, before becoming a movie star, the actress started her career on Broadway. In fact, she was the third-youngest person to ever be nominated for a Tony after playing Dinah Lord in “High Society”. She later went on to play Fredrika Armfeldt in “A Little Night Music” too. She’s yet to return to the Broadway stage and who knows, perhaps there’s a Tony award in her future.

#5: Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger might be best known for fronting the burlesque/pop group, The Pussycat Dolls. But did you know that she’s classically trained, and has a musical theater background too? In 2010 she joined Neil Patrick Harris’ star-studded cast as the fun-loving and free-spirited performance artist, Maureen, in “Rent”. Then in 2014, she made her West End debut playing Grizabella in the “Cats” revival. She was meant to reprise the role on Broadway but pulled out for her TV career instead. Whether she’s performing as part of a cast or singing solo, there’s seemingly no role outside of Nicole’s impressive range.

#4: Kristen Bell

Today Kristen’s vocals are instantly recognizable thanks to the immense success of Disney’s “Frozen”. But before crossing over to movies and television, Kristen kicked off her career on stage. She even dropped out of NYU to make her Broadway debut as Becky Thatcher in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. She continued to tread the boards in LA, playing Fredrika Armfeldt in “A Little Night Music” and Sheila in an A-List performance of “Hair” - whilst pregnant with her younger daughter. Although she hasn’t performed on stage since, she has previously divulged that Ann from “A Little Night Music” is on her musical theater wish-list.

#3: Daniel Radcliffe
“How to Success in Business Without Really Trying” (2011)

While Daniel Radcliffe’s Broadway debut in “Equus” was all the talk back in 2007, his role in “How to Succeed in Business” made less of a splash - perhaps because this time he wasn’t getting naked. Still, we got to see a new side of the beloved actor as he showcased his comedy skills, as well as an ability to carry a tune and follow choreography. His big showstopping number, “Brotherhood of Man” is particularly fun and delightful to watch. While many critics remained generally on the fence about the show, Radcliffe managed to work his magic and had them under his charm.

#2: Sarah Jessica Parker

While today she may be best known as Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City”, SJP is another actress who got her start on the stage, first starring alongside her siblings in “The Sound of Music”. She’s also appeared in “Once Upon A Mattress” and starred opposite her now-husband, Matthew Broderick in “How To Succeed in Business”. But she made her Broadway musical debut in “Annie”, playing an orphan named July. She was later promoted to leading lady, becoming the oldest actress to play the titular character at the age of 14. In 2017, she joined several generations of Annies to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary.

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

Zachary Levi, “First Date” (2013) & “She Loves Me” (2016)
Broadway Debut in “First Date” & Received Tony Nom for “She Loves Me”

Diane Keaton, “Hair” (1968)
Understudy for Shelia in the Original Broadway Show

Carly Rae Jepsen, “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” (2013) & “Grease Live!” (2016)
Not Just Singing, the Full Musical Hat Trick

Ashlee Simpson, “Chicago” (2006)
Played Roxie Hart on Both Sides of the Pond

Usher, “Chicago” (2006)
Were You Lucky Enough to See Him as Slick-Talking Lawyer Billy Flynn?

#1: Nick Jonas

As a kid, Nick was discovered after he was heard singing whilst accompanying his mom to the hair salon. He then got his start in musical theater with roles like Chip from “Beauty and the Beast,” Kurt in “The Sound of Music” and Gavroche in “Les Misérables”. After The Jonas Brothers broke up, he returned to his theater roots playing Marius in the West End’s “Les Miz”, Link Larkin in the Hollywood Bowl’s “Hairspray,” and J.Pierrepont Finch in “How to Succeed in Business.” Don’t get us wrong, we love The Jonas Brothers, but we hope Nick returns to the theater soon.