In honor of Father's Day, and my own father who introduced me to Broadway, here are a few of the best dad characters from Broadway shows. What name would you add to fill out this Top-Ten list?
|Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean in the current Broadway Revival of Les Miserables. Photo: Matthew Murphy|
- Jean Valjean from Les Mis: Jean adopts Cosette when her mother, Fantine, dies, freeing her from the tyranny of the innkeepers who were charged with her care. He loves her as his own and risks his life to save Marius when he discovers that the young boy has won Cosette's heart.
- Charlie Anderson from Shenandoah. Widower Charlie raises a brood of boys and a daughter and tries to keep his family out of the Civil War. His strong patriarchal presence is tempered with softness as he comforts his daughter, worried about her new husband's fate as a soldier and shoulder's a parent's worst nightmare when his youngest son is taken prisoner.
- Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof. Putting his children first, no matter how difficult, he supports his daughters' desires to marry for love rather than tradition. He also conveys love for his wife.
- Oliver Warbucks from Annie. The guy's got millions and FDR in his pocket and he is willing to share it all with a little orphan girl and her dog.
- The Founding Fathers of the musical 1776. The Sherman Edwards musical still gives goosebumps when the roll is called at the end to form a new nation.
- Father, from Life with Father, still Broadway's longest running play. The banker who runs his home like a drill sergeant masks a deep love for his wife and children.
- Jack Crystal, the father of comedian Billy Crystal, immortalized in memories that form the one-man play 700 Sundays. His busy, jazz promoter dad always made time for his family. You can catch this show on HBO http://www.hbo.com/comedy/billy-crystal-700-sundays#/
- Guy's father in Once. Moved by his son's musical talent, Da gives him the financial backing needed to pursue a career in the USA.
Emily Weiner as Tiny Tim and Robert Hannon Davis as Bob Cratchit in Hartford Stage's A Christmas Carol. Photo: T. Charles Erickson
- Bob Cratchit from A Christmas Carol. Whether we see this is play or musical form, Bob always takes Top Father honors as he puts up with Scrooge to provide for his struggling family. He never holds back showing his affection for his wife and children, especially when hoisting Tiny Tim up on his capable shoulders.
- Which dad would you put in this slot?