It’s not that Anderson has been a secret; musical-theater fans have lauded her talent for years, from her Broadway debut in 2001’s A Class Act through her utility-player versatility in the gay-themed musical Yank. But holding the stage alone in The Pen, part of this year’s Inner Voices anthology of solo musicals, Anderson left even her longtime admirers stunned. Funny, precise and ultimately heartbreaking as a woman hemmed in by obsessive-compulsive disorder, she gave an indelible performance.—Adam Feldman
The year is nearly over (or, depending on when you read this, a new year has begun) and everyone has filed their best-of-the-year lists. The spring looms ahead, and with it the race for the Tony Awards. This seems like a good time to salute some performers—many of whom you may not know—who really broke through this year. Some are currently appearing in NYC’s best Broadway shows, the sort of offerings that have led us to call this a Golden Age for Broadway; others shone Off Broadway. They’re all winners.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best of 2016