World Theatre Day 2023 is here! To get us all in the spirit, here are ten famous pop stars who have taken to the stage to sing their hearts out.
Last updated: 27th Mar 2023
Calling all theatre lovers - it’s officially World Theatre Day 2023!
If you’re wondering, “what is World Theatre Day?” it’s simply a day when we all celebrate the incredible art form that is the theatre.
Here are countless reasons to celebrate the theatre and one of those is the stage brought us countless talents. Many household names we recognise from banging tunes or on our screens have graced the stage over their careers, whether they started their career there, continued it, or discovered it was where they were meant to be all along.
But right now, we’re going to be focusing on some of the music's biggest legends who have blown audiences' minds during their musical theatre careers.
So let’s get this show on the road! Here are ten pop stars who’ve basked in the limelight of musical theatre productions.
It’s probably not too surprising that Ariana kicked off her career in musical theatre - her voice is insane and incredibly versatile. Her debut role saw her as Annie at Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre. Yep, her first role was as the lead character. Perhaps even more impressively, at just 15 years old, the 7 Rings singer was cast in the Broadway musical production of 13 as Charlotte and the understudy for the female lead. Che's also set to appear in the movie adaptation of the musical Wicked in 2024.
The famous pop punk album American Idiot was transformed into a sung-through rock musical, was performed 422 times, and won some impressive awards including two esteemed Tony Awards, a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, a Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award.
While Green Day wasn’t actually part of the cast, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong appeared every now and then, assuming the role of St. Jimmy from time to time. Safe to say if you went to see the show as a Green Day fan and the frontman was standing on stage performing your favourite songs, you’d be over the bloody moon.
Perfectly suited for the role, Usher became Billy Flynn in the massive Broadway production Chicago. With the moves, charm, and voice to back it all up, when you think about it, it was bound to happen. As a little bonus for you, some other celebs to have appeared in Chicago include Billy Rae Cyrus, Ashlee Simpson, Mel B, and Michelle Williams.
The icon behind the bangers Livin’ La Vida Loca and She Bangs made his debut in Les Misérables as a replacement Marius in 1987 before performing as Che in the revival of Evita in 2012. The latter broke the theatre's box-office sales record an incredible seven times and was nominated for a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. Apparently he knew what he wanted from age six, asking his dad to enrol him in singing and acting lessons.
A bit of a different one here, Elton John didn’t actually perform on stage (yet, who knows?) but penned songs for some of the biggest musicals, becoming the most successful musical theatre composer from 1994 to 2005. His first Broadway production was The Lion King. It won loads of awards. He then went on to write music for the musicals Aida, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Devil Wears Prada and more.
Ex-Spice Girl Mel C has made a fair share of appearances on the stage. After school, Sporty Spice studied a diploma course in singing, dancing, and musical theatre and then gained teaching qualifications in tap and modern theatre dance. She's played Mary Magdalene in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, starred in How Did We Get Here?, and portrayed Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers, which earned her a nomination for a prestigious Laurence Olivier award.
Another artist who got involved in musical theatre from behind the scenes, Cyndi Lauper composed music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, based on the independent film of the same name. The lady behind the hit Girls Just Wanna Have Fun helped secure the show 13 Tony Award nominations, winning six including Best Original Score and Best Musical for herself. And that's without considering the awards from Drama League, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, The Grammys, Laurence Olivier, and more. She also wrote a song for the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, which secured her another award.
Grammy-award-winning pop singer Sara Bareilles has picked up a few awards and nominations for her contributions to musical theatre. She starred in The Little Mermaid, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Waitress, and Into the Woods. She also penned a song for the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, as did Cyndi Lauper, Steven Tyler, Brian Eno, Panic! At the Disco, David Bowie, John Legend, and The Flaming Lips. it seems popstars love a bit of SpongeBob - who doesn’t?
Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams is the only member of the group to have ventured onto Broadway. And we’re buzzing she did! She first replaced Ton Braxton for the title role in Aida in 2003, then went on to perform in The Color Purple, Chicago on Broadway, What My Husband Doesn't Know, Fela!, Once on This Island, A Snow White Christmas, and Children of Eden.
Before his rise to fame, the baby Jonas brother acted on Broadway from age seven. Some of the roles he took on include those in productions of A Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables. He returned to the stage in 2010 after a seven-year break (presumably once he was done being a teen heartthrob) to take roles in Les Misérables (again, in a different role), Hairspray, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Fancy getting in the spirit of World Theatre Day 2023 and checking out some unforgettable productions? Click or tap here to discover the best shows in London or search Skiddle now to find shows near you!
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.
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