Time Magazine's annual Time100 list of the most influential people in the world is out, and among those recognized are stage favorites Suzan-Lori Parks and Lea Michele in the Artists category and Jennifer Coolidge in the Icons category.
The list features introductions written by fellow luminaries.
Ryan Murphy, writing about Glee star Michele, mainly focuses on her star turn in Broadway's Funny Girl, which Murphy was once poised to produce himself. "Funny Girl is my favorite musical of all time, and for over a decade I flirted with reviving it on Broadway. Ultimately, I couldn’t commit for one reason: the long shadow of Barbra Streisand, who originated the role of Fanny Brice," says Murphy. "I was afraid of it. Lea Michele wasn’t afraid. I couldn’t believe it when I attended my friend’s opening night with Jonathan Groff. JG and I were both in tears and were absolutely astounded as Lea received multiple standing ovations, literally bringing the house down. Her acting: impeccable and nuanced. Her voice: full of joy and despair. She had done the impossible: made Fanny her own, to great critical and commercial acclaim. Older, wiser, stronger, Lea interjected the classic with a new burst of modernity and something singular: here she was playing a survivor and killing it because she herself had survived something. Many things. At age 36, she reinvented herself yet again. She was humble in this triumph and this comeback, and didn’t take for granted being the toast of Broadway. In this role, Lea Michele is truly the greatest star."
Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown writes about Parks after starring in her Father Comes Home From the Wars Off-Broadway at the Public and at Los Angeles' Center Theater Group. "Suzan-Lori is a playwright who thrives on collaboration; she’s not trying to force people like pawns on a chessboard. She’s looking for a visceral reaction to her words, and if they don’t fully land, she goes back to the drawing board until those words impact her soul and the souls of her collaborators," says Brown. "The theatre world knows Suzan-Lori exceptionally well, but the world at large should recognize the genius that she is. She should be a household name."
Coolidge, who has appeared on Broadway in The Women and Elling, is introduced by Mia Farrow, who co-starred with Coolidge in Netflix's The Watcher. Farrow describes the miraculous second wave of popularity Coolidge has experienced since making a splash in The White Lotus on HBO. "Adoration for Jennifer, initially led by discerning cinephiles and, of course, the gay community, was now everywhere," writes Farrow. "Impressions of her, and merchandise ranging from ceremonial candles to T-shirts bearing her face, proliferated. So many of the qualities that have made everyone fall in love with her are outside of what is mainstream or expected: her eccentric mannerisms, hilarious improvisations, and, most of all, aching vulnerability. She is uncompromisingly, exquisitely herself. Jennifer’s honesty and kindness make her a friend anyone would be lucky to have."
See the complete 2022 Time100 list at Time.com.