Best Theater Surprise - 2008
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Last fall, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the reopening of the Fox Theatre, Linda Eder and Brian Stokes Mitchell appeared together in a concert billed as a celebration of the American musical. Most of the advance publicity went to Eder. But at the concert itself, front-act Mitchell delivered a performance of such charm, humor and ease that he totally captivated the audience. He sang "This Nearly Was Mine" unplugged; one song was so new to the act, his drummer was turning the sheet music pages. For those who had not seen Mitchell's star turns on Broadway (Ragtime, Man of La Mancha, Kiss Me, Kate), this friendly and optimistic introduction to St. Louis was a celebration indeed.