Andrea Macasaet, Rob McClure, Ashley Blanchet, Nadia Brown
Andrea Macasaet, Rob McClure, Ashley Blanchet, Nadia Brown

Broadway Stars Share Their Favorite Onstage Costumes

Broadway actors have to go through much preparation to fully take on their roles in their various shows by memorizing lines, staging, and enduring long rehearsals, but often their characters aren’t fully realized until the actors don their costumes for the first time. The importance of a costume is immeasurable and throughout these actors’ careers, they have worn many exquisite designs.

Just like the costumes that audience members love and remember long after the curtain has fallen, the wearers themselves have their favorites too. Find out which costumes have stood the test of time in the eyes of these Broadway stars.

Douglas Lyons (Chicken and Biscuits Playwright)

Collins on the Rent National Tour. That leather jacket, beanie, and glasses moment is so iconic. I had dreamed of stepping into those shoes.

Sean Allan Krill
Sean Allan Krill in Sunday in the Park with George, Sense & Sensibility, and Spamalot. Photos courtesy of Sean Allan Krill.

Sean Allan Krill (Jagged Little Pill)

My job basically IS Halloween all the time! It’s awesome. My all-time favorite is from Sense & Sensibility. I played Colonel Brandon, and I LOVED wearing those gorgeous period clothes designed by Susan E. Mickey. And the WIG! Built especially for me by the amazing Melissa Veal. Actually, I’m realizing all my favorites involve wigs. No surprise there. Give me a wig and cape and I’m good to go! Other favorites include Galahad in Spamalot, The Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, The Dauphin in Henry V, and Georges in Sunday in the Park with George.

Ashley Blanchet in Cinderella. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Ashley Blanchet (Waitress)

The most fun costume moments I’ve had that come immediately to mind are the ones that were designed to quick change ON STAGE (designed by Alejo Vietti for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Christopher Oram for Frozen, and William Ivey Long for Cinderella). You pull a string and magic happens for “The Locomotion,” for Elsa, and for Cinderella. It can be a little scary before you pull the string, but it’s amazing to feel the audience gasp all at once when it happens perfectly.

Rob McClure in Mrs. Doubtfire. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Rob McClure (Mrs. Doubtfire)

Mrs. Doubtfire has got to be my favorite onstage costume because it takes a village. I’m astonished by the remarkable artists and dressers who help me achieve it every night.

Cassie Beck (What the Constitution Means to Me National Tour)

I actually got to do a gorgeous costume change in full view of the audience at Williamstown Theater Festival. I was Natasha in the Michael Grief-directed Three Sisters, and he had a vision of watching the character transform from desperate girl to dominate mistress. It felt amazing to stand center stage while two wonderful dressers ceremoniously changed my costume and stage snow lightly fell all around us. Fabulous Clint Ramos designed the costumes.

Tendayi Kuumba
Tendayi Kuumba in her CarnEvil costume. Photo courtesy of Tendayi Kuumba.

Tendayi Kuumba (American Utopia)

Over a decade ago I performed as Porcelina in a show called CarnEvil for Six Flags over Georgia. The concept was that everyone was half animal, half something else. I was half porcelain doll, half black widow spider. It was my first time in such an extravagant costume, and we used to do up to 5 shows a day! I loved how intricate things were, which I wouldn’t have expected from an amusement park show.

I had a whole attachment that was spider legs on my back, a high black hollow Marge Simpson-like wig to tuck my locks up into with eyes on them, a black cocktail dress to look like a cute spider sack, and I would get my face airbrushed to look like cracks. I would have so much fun, and the crowds were so full! We would all sing covers, and I shared singing with the half-snake girl. We sang Brittney Spears’ “Toxic” as a ballad and I would enter from the top of a slide covered in cobwebs and slide down while singing  “too high, can’t come down…”

My favorite part was that I got to wear these florescent pink contacts so when I would appear at the top of the stage my eyes would glow under the blacklight, and I would always try to scare people. Such a fun cast and so much professionalism at the same time. Definitely felt like a little training for the Broadway stage!

Zachary Noah Piser as Boq in Wicked. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Zachary Noah Piser as Boq in Wicked. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Zachary Noah Piser (Dear Evan Hansen)

My favorite overall costume I’ve worn was Boq’s costume in Wicked, specifically his Shiz University outfit. However, I’ve found that for each role I’ve played, I have favorite costume pieces that really complete the transformation into that character. For Boq, it was the colorful knit hat and tie. For Tobias, it was the wig I wore for “Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir.” For Evan, it’s the New Balance sneakers and of course, the cast, and so on!

Robyn Hurder in Kiss Me, Kate.
Robyn Hurder in Kiss Me, Kate. Photos courtesy of Robyn Hurder.

Robyn Hurder (Moulin Rouge! The Musical)

My favorite onstage costume is hands down my luscious purple negligee I wore for “Always True…” in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Kiss Me, Kate. It was designed by Alejo Vietti and it was perfection. For years I had been fantasizing about doing this role/number as an Elvgren/Vargas pin-up drawing that has come to life – and the way that costume danced and flirted with me all around the stage and set was actually what dreams are made of. I’m still waiting for STC to gift it to me.

Shereen Pimentel in Dido and Aeneas
Shereen Pimentel in Dido and Aeneas. Photo courtesy of Shereen Pimentel.

Shereen Pimentel (West Side Story)

My favorite costume that I’ve worn on stage is my First Witch costume in Dido and Aeneas. This wonderful costume was fully black sequins and a finger waves wig. I felt so spooky in the middle of the spring and got to live my best witch life.

Chris Giarmo (America Utopia)

My favorite costume I’ve worn on stage has to be the one I wear in American Utopia. Originally custom-made for each of us by Kenzo, and re-made as costumes by various tailors and costume shops, the neutrality of the grey bodies on a grey stage really allows our personalities (and makeup looks!) to sparkle.

Nadia Brown in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Nadia Brown in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Nadia Brown (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)

I’ve had the pleasure of wearing a diverse range of costumes and playing a diverse range of characters, but my favorite is the one I get to wear now: Rose Granger-Weasley, the young brilliant witch who gets to go to Hogwarts just like Mum and Dad!

Andrea Macasaet and Cast in SIX. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Andrea Macasaet (SIX)

Anne Boleyn’s costume is my FAVORITE. Every single detail about it is absolutely beautiful. I feel incredibly powerful and totally badass.

Do you have a favorite costume you’ve seen worn on a Broadway stage? Share it with us on Twitter as we’d love to hear it!