Beth Leavel

About Beth Leavel

Tony Award-winning actress and singer Beth Leavel made her first of many appearances on the Broadway stage in the mid-'80s, beginning with 42nd Street. She eventually took home the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her title role in 2006's The Drowsy Chaperone. Among her many other Broadway credits are 2011's Baby It's You and 2018's The Prom, both of which resulted in Tony nominations for best leading actress in a musical for Leavel.
A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Leavel studied social work at local Meredith College before earning a graduate degree in theater at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (M.F.A., 1980). She made her Broadway debut when she joined the cast of the 1981 Tony winner for best musical, 42nd Street, as a replacement in 1985. Her subsequent Broadway shows included Crazy for You, Show Boat, and The Civil War, all in the '90s. In the 2000s, Leavel appeared in a revival of 42nd Street before winning a Tony Award in 2006 for her performance as Beatrice Stockwell, the Drowsy Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone. She followed it with parts in Broadway's Young Frankenstein and Mamma Mia! (as a replacement Donna Sheridan).
In the meantime, Leavel earned guest spots on TV series like Law & Order: Criminal Intent and ER, appearing in that show's series finale in 2009. Back on-stage, she earned roles in 2010's Elf: The Broadway Musical and the 2011 jukebox musical Baby It's You!, the latter of which earned Leavel her first Tony nomination in the category of Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. She landed a small part in the 2014 feature film This Is Where I Leave You before originating the role of June Adams in the Broadway musical Bandstand in 2017. It was followed by Bandstand: The Broadway Musical on Screen, which streamed live in 2018. That same year, she was the first Dee Dee Allen in The Prom, a music- and LGBTQ-themed show that garnered Leavel a second Tony nomination for lead actress. In 2020, she took her solo show Beth Leavel: Thirteen Shows and Counting on the road and was cast in Elton John's Broadway musical adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada! That same year, the Broadway label released an "original concept recording" of Platinum Girls: The Musical, about aging one-hit wonders played by Leavel, Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins' Broadway), and Brenda Braxton (Smokey Joe's Café). ~ Marcy Donelson