Kristin Chenoweth: Kristin Chenoweth had quite the year, starting it off by lighting up the stage in Promises, Promises and ending the year with a fantastic new album: What Matters Most. A fall appearance on Dancing With the Stars, a new TV series, and she's already planning her return to the stage. How she does it all? We may never know. [Image: CT News]
Billie Joe Armstrong: Billie Joe Armstrong took to the stage this year, both creating and for a time starring in American Idiot on Broadway. Now the show is headed for a national tour and hopefully to the big screen as well. What do we want next from Armstrong? Another show please. [Image: Walter McBride / BroadwayWorld.com]
Lin-Manuel Miranda: Lin-Manuel Miranda followed up his Tony-winning In the Heights with work on Bring It On, which features a libretto by Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), and lyrics and music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, and Amanda Green. All together, a team you can't beat and another winning tale. [Image: Broadway World]
The Book of Mormon: It won the Best Musical Tony for 2011, and if you want tickets, you should start checking for dates in 2012. Yep, it's The Book of Mormon, the new musical from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q's Bobby Lopez that set the theatre world on its head and is still the hottest ticket in town. [Image: Broadway World]
Broadway Dreams Foundation: One of the true highlights of my year and in writing this column was singling out the wonderful folks from the Broadway Dreams Foundation who blew me away in the Philadelphia showcase True Colors. The organization has already worked with and inspired more than 3,000 students and counting! [Image: Broadway Dreams Foundation]
Jordan Roth: Jordan Roth's charity work continues to grow with his uniquely run givenik.com. The initiative sells tickets to Broadway and beyond, donating 5% of the ticket price to the charity of the ticket-buyer's choice, and it's now highlighting celebrities each month along with their charitable picks. [Image: New York Magazine]
Idina Menzel: The original Tony-award winning star of Wicked had quite the year, with multiple appearances on Glee, concert appearances around the the world, and her very first PBS special in Toronto! As if that wasn't enough, she also found time to launch A Broader Way, a camp for supporting young people in the arts. [Image: Idina Menzel]
Nikki M. James: People are still talking about the fresh The Book of Mormon star's moving Tony Awards speech, "A Story About Bumblebees." With her first Tony win now under her belt, she'll be buzzing around right into 2012. [Image: Broadway World]
Larry Kramer Activist and writer Larry Kramer was a big winner in 2011 with The Normal Heart, which received a slew of awards for Best Revival of a Play, Best Featured Actress for Ellen Barkin, and Best Featured Actor for John Benjamin Hickey, amongst others. The play, which looks at the politics and world of New York during the AIDS crises, is a powerful one that audiences won't soon forget. It is now playing around the country, and a film starring Mark Ruffalo was recently announced as well. [Image: Broadway World]
Elaine Paige: Elaine Paige is taking Broadway by storm in Follies, running through January 22, 2012 at Broadway's Marquis Theatre. The first lady of British musical theatre will also hopefully be lighting up the stage in a splashy Lincoln Center concert in the spring of 2012. Yes, please! [Image: Backstage]
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