Requested by Tad

Top 20 Favorite Theatre Characters (in Order)

This list is an embarrassment. Let's remember the word "favorite" because this list is in no way all-encompassing of theatre (as is evident by the absurd ratio of musicals and plays). All the same, these are the characters that, as of right now, have moved me the most. The stats: 11 men, 9 women, 17 musical roles, 3 play roles.
  1. 1.
    The Baker (INTO THE WOODS; Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine)
    (Pictured: Chip Zien) "Can't we just pursue our lives with our children and our wives till that happier day arrives? How do you ignore all the witches? All the curses? All the wolves, all the lies, the false hopes, the goodbyes, the reverses? All the wondering what even worse is still in store?"
  2. 2.
    The Baker's Wife (INTO THE WOODS; Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine)
    (Pictured: Joanna Gleason) "Let the moment go. Don't forget it for a moment, though. Just remembering you've had an 'and' when you're back to 'or' makes the 'or' mean more than it did before. Now I understand, and it's time to leave the woods!"
  3. 3.
    Trina (FALSETTOS; William Finn and James Lapine)
    (Pictured: Barbara Walsh, left, with Heather MacRae) "Life is never what you planned. Life is moments you can't understand, and that is life. Holding to the ground as the ground keeps shifting. Trying to keep sane as the rules keep changing. Keeping up my head as my heart falls out of sight... Everything will be alright."
  4. 4.
    Mrs. Lovett (SWEENEY TODD; Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler)
    (Pictured: Angela Lansbury) "Don't you know, silly man, half the fun is to plan the plan? All good things come to those who can wait."
  5. 5.
    Lucille Frank (PARADE; Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry)
    (Pictured: My good friend Avery) "I could be a quiet little girl and cook your little meals and swallow all I feel or I could start to scream across the whole damned south and never shut my mouth until they understand. But I can't do it alone, Leo."
  6. 6.
    Leo Frank (PARADE; Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry)
    (Pictured: Brent Carver, right, with Carolee Carmello) "I believe God has a plan in all this and I believe He chose me for a reason, so all this time I've considered and I've pondered and I've prayed and for the life of me, I can't seem to figure out what that reason is. I do know this, though—I haven't gone through the last two years to stand before you now and tell you a bald faced lie. That is not part of God's plan for me."
  7. 7.
    Edith Bouvier Beale (GREY GARDENS; Doug Wright, Scott Frankel, and Michael Korie)
    (Pictured: Christine Ebersole) "My season ended a long time ago, but no one took the party tent down. The pink paper lanterns still twinkle in place. My young navy hero, his tender embrace. That sapphire blue ocean. Oh, how can I face another winter in a summer town?"
  8. 8.
    Charley Kringas (MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG; Stephen Sondheim and George Furth)
    (Pictured: Damian Humbley, right, with Mark Umbers) "Nothing permanent has happened. Just a temporary kink. Friendship's something you don't really lose."
  9. 9.
    Hamlet (HAMLET; William Shakespeare)
    (Pictured: David Tennant) "O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams."
  10. 10.
    Alonso Quijana/Don Quixote de la Mancha (MAN OF LA MANCHA; Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion, and Mitch Leigh)
    (Pictured: Brian Stokes Mitchell) "Hear me, heathens and wizards and serpents of sin! All your dastardly doings are past, for a holy endeavor is now to begin and virtue shall triumph at last!"
  11. 11.
    Mother (RAGTIME; Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty, and Lynn Ahrens)
    (Pictured: Marin Mazzie) "There are people out there unafraid of revealing that they might have a feeling or they might have been wrong. There are people out there unafraid to feel sorrow, unafraid of tomorrow, unafraid to be weak, unafraid to be strong."
  12. 12.
    Alfie Byrne (A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE; Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty, and Lynn Ahrens)
    (Pictured: Roger Rees, left, with Steven Pasquale) "Life is clearly something that I can't rehearse. It's dangerous and beautiful and free as verse, and rather than avoid it, high time I stood in its way. Welcome to the world! I am in the world! That should be enough. And that's all I have to say."
  13. 13.
    Mamma Rose Hovick (GYPSY; Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne, and Stephen Sondheim)
    (Pictured: Imelda Staunton) "Why did I do it? What did it get me? Scrapbooks full of me in the background. Give 'em love and what does it get ya? One quick look as each of 'em leaves you. All your life and what does it get ya? Thanks a lot and out with the garbage. They take bows and you're battin' zero."
  14. 14.
    Prior Walter (ANGELS IN AMERICA; Tony Kushner)
    (Pictured: Andrew Scott) "This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won't die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come."
  15. 15.
    Antonio Salieri (AMADEUS; Peter Shaffer)
    (Pictured: Ian McKellen) "I looked on astounded as from his ordinary life he made his art. We were both ordinary men, he and I. Yet from ordinary he created Legends—and I, from Legends created only the ordinary!"
  16. 16.
    Tevye (FIDDLER ON THE ROOF; Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick)
    (Pictured: Danny Burstein) "Accept them? How can I accept them? Can I deny everything I believe in? ...On the other hand, can I deny my own daughter? ...On the other hand, how can I turn my back on my faith? My people? If I try to bend that far, I'll break. ...On the other hand... No. There is no other hand."
  17. 17.
    Natasha Rostova (NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812; Dave Malloy)
    (Pictured: Phillipa Soo) "We've done this all before. We were angels once. Don't you remember? The joy and life inside our souls—and nobody knows. Just you and me. It's our secret."
  18. 18.
    John Adams (1776; Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone)
    (Pictured: William Daniels) "I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two become a law firm, and that three or more become a congress!"
  19. 19.
    Beatrice (MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING; William Shakespeare)
    (Pictured: Emma Thompson) "I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me."
  20. 20.
    The Man in the Chair (THE DROWSY CHAPERONE; Bob Martin, Don McKellar, Lisa Lambert, and Greg Morrison)
    (Pictured: Bob Martin) "I know it's not a perfect show...the spit-take scene is lame and the monkey motif is labored... But it does what a musical is supposed to do! It takes you to another world and it gives you a little tune to carry in your head for when you're feeling blue. You know?"