Top Five Men Playing Women in Musicals

Time for another Five on Friday – this time celebrating some of the most striking, and strikingly successful, cross dressing leading men. And I’m thinking of proper musicals – not Pantomime dames!

Five – Matt Henry as Lola in Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots
Matt Henry and cast. Photo by Helen Maybanks

He’s been playing the lead in this show since it opened in London and still seems to be having a roaringly good time.

Four – Jason Donovan as Tick in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Brilliant both in and out of the drag in the West End and on tour, I guess we should not be surprised that Jason Donovan, as usual, gave an excellent performance. Time to see him in another musical, surely!

Three – John Partridge as Albin in La Cage Aux Folles

La Cage Aux Folles

OK, so this in anticipation of Mr Partridge delivering the goods in the recently announced UK tour. The picture above features John Barrowman who took the part at London’s Playhouse Theatre in 2009.

Two – Craig Revel Horwood as Miss Hannigan in Annie

Craig Revell Harwood in Annie

Sharing the role with fellow Strictly Come Dancing star Lesley Joseph in the most recent UK tour, Craig Revel Horwood joins a growing list of men who’ve played this classic part, not least Lily Savage.

One – John Travolta as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray

John Travolta in Hairspray

Exceptionally I’ve included a movie star in this list of otherwise exclusively theatrical cross dressers. But for me John Travolta provides a hilarious benchmark performance, helped by his crazy accent (‘I’ve got the iron on’ is a standard quote in our house!).