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From Broadway stage to TV screen: 7 noteworthy performances

Actors are constantly taking the leap to new mediums—especially Broadway actors. Their talents stretch from singing to dancing to acting, often showcasing unbelievable abilities in these areas. Many of these musically trained performers are recognizable in today’s world of television—it’s a platform that’s growing exponentially for Broadway performers.

How many of the following seven outstanding actors have you seen without even realizing where they got their start?

Raul Esparza (Law & Order: SVU, Hannibal)


The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cabaret, Company—Esparza’s Broadway credits are unmistakable. Landing such big roles on the New York City stage was just the beginning for Esparza, who quickly proved his many talents; it’s no surprise that Esparza took the leap into movies and television. Currently, Esparza maintains two prominent roles on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and Hannibal.

On SVU, Esparza portrays ADA Rafael Barba. Though SVU has faltered in its later seasons, Esparza’s appearance helped bring life back into the show. His chemistry with the rest of the cast, especially leading lady Mariska Hargitay, is evident. Plus, there’s no shortage of witty quips and impeccable suits.

Interpreting an established literary character on Hannibal, Esparza stepped into the role of Dr. Frederick Chilton. Although Chilton’s presence was originally viewed as a nuisance to Hannibal‘s bevy of characters, fans quickly fell in love with Esparza’s depiction of the no-holds-barred psychiatrist. Outcry poured in from the community when Chilton was shot in the face during season 2, as we were uncertain of his mortality. But creator Bryan Fuller has promised more Chilton to come in season 3. That’s a relief, and an exciting prospect for Esparza’s career. No matter the role, Esparza is a master of his craft onstage and onscreen.

Jesse L. Martin (The Flash, Law & Order)


Currently starring on The CW’s megahit The Flash, Martin wasn’t always such a presence on television. Martin’s most notable stage role is originating Tom Collins in the Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award–winning musical Rent, which was heartbreaking journey of love and living with AIDS in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Martin reprised his standout role in the 2005 motion picture adaptation, once again bearing his soul to the audience.

Rising to notoriety in the television world on the long-running hit Law & Order, Martin quickly proved more than capable. In 2014, Martin made another splash as Detective Joe West on the DC Comic television show The Flash. Martin brings a lovable aspect to Joe, compelling viewers to root for him every step of the way. The chemistry he shares with the main character, Barry Allen, is beautiful, as a father-son relationship blooms onscreen. The Flash has a real knack for finding musically trained talent, as a large majority of its cast has been seen on a musical stage; Martin is just one of the wildly talented few.

Sutton Foster (Younger, Bunheads)


Foster is a force to be reckoned with on the stage; her credits and Tony Awards speak for themselves. Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek, Anything Goes, Violet … and that’s not all of the beautiful Foster’s starring roles. It’s no wonder she made the leap into television, as her charisma on stage deserves to be seen by audiences everywhere. Though her ABC Family show, Bunheads, was canceled, Foster will get to show her expertise once again as she prepares to make her TV Land debut in their new comedy, Younger (also starring Hilary Duff and Debi Mazar.) There’s no doubt that Foster will shine in her new role, if her work on Broadway is any indication.

Colin Donnell (The Affair, Arrow)


Perhaps best known for his role as Tommy Merlyn on Arrow, Oliver Queen’s best friend, boyfriend to Laurel Lance, and son of Malcolm Merlyn, Donnell made what could have been an obnoxious playboy completely lovable. Though Tommy had to face his own hardships, Donnell handled his role with grace, and brought that layered sense of growth to his character throughout Arrow‘s first season. Fans looked forward to Tommy’s scenes with his best friend and girlfriend; his relationship with both was neither awkward nor forced. Tommy’s fate at the end of season 1 turned out to be poignant, and helped the entire show move forward. In fact, it helped many storylines play out even into the show’s current third season. Fans of the show still rally for Tommy’s resurrection, hoping a miracle can be created from such an untimely death.

Though Donnell and his portrayal of Tommy remains a beloved part of the Arrow community, the Broadway star (who was seen in such musicals as Anything Goes and Violet—with Sutton Foster), can now be seen causing trouble in the first season of Showtime’s new, Golden Globe–winning hit The Affair. Donnell’s character, Scotty Lockhart, is arrogant and cocky, but Donnell does an excellent job at making you want to see more of the man whom audiences learned the fate of halfway through the season. Donnell’s place in the accomplished and brilliant ensemble of actors is cemented with his equally skilled performance.

Andrew Rannells (Girls, The New Normal)


“I Believe” may be the title of Rannells’ hilarious solo in the knockout musical Book of Mormon, but it also describes my belief in Rannells’ career: I believe he is going places in the world of television. Though his NBC comedy The New Normal didn’t see a latter day, Rannells has become the breakout start of HBO’s Sunday hit Girls. On a show that focuses on the life of a group of girls struggling to survive in NYC, Rannells is the real standout of the show’s current fourth season. Rannells plays Elijah, a confident, entertaining, and humorous friend of the show’s main characters. Elijah’s bluntness, plus his ability to be there for the girls, makes you wish that Elijah was on your own speed dial.

Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother, A to Z)


Milioti joined the How I Met Your Mother clan at a pivotal time for the show; the story was winding down and it was time to learn just who Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) had been talking to his children about for nine years. Milioti was ultimately revealed as Tracy McConnell, Ted’s aforementioned mother of his children and the titular character of the entire series. Milioti starred in the somber, Tony Award–winning musical Once, portraying Girl as a relatable yet tragic character.

Milioti transferred her brilliance from on stage to Tracy, as she was able to find the charm within such a short-lived character. HIMYM ended disastrously; Milioti’s appeal added to the reasons why fans felt short-changed when it was revealed that Tracy had passed away. Milioti went on to star in NBC’s A to Z, but the show was unable to find its audience. Milioti is sure to continue to grace our screens in the future; she’s proved her abilities as a television force.

Steve Kazee (Shameless)


Tony Award in hand, Kazee decided to make the jump from the stage to screen after his award-winning performance in Once. Like Milioti, Kazee proved his power. Currently making his Shameless debut as musician Gus Pfender, Kazee is able to share his musical talents, as well as his notable acting abilities, all in one role. Kazee has been praised for his courting of main character Fiona (Emmy Rossum), and although Fiona has had a torrid love life, Kazee’s Gus has proven to be the perfect match for her unhinged past. Kazee’s innate charm, and his ability to make one swoon with the strum of his guitar, is sure to mean a lasting career in the onscreen world.

Who are your favorite actors to make the leap from stage to screen?

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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