Broadway star Rebecca Luker has long been recognized for her skill to combine her distinctively fine soprano voice with rare dramatic sensibility. As New York Times critic Stephen Holden noted in a review of Luker in a cabaret performance: “If you’ve been wondering who, if anyone, might be the heir to the great Barbara Cook, Ms. Luker, who also comes from the South (Birmingham, Ala.) and also played Marian the librarian (in the revival of The Music Man) is the one.”
Certainly, like Ms. Cook, Rebecca Luker is a creature of Broadway. Her debut came in 1988 as the Princess in the original – and still on-going – production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, in which she has also served as replacement and understudy for the leading female role of Christine Daaé.
Since then, Luker has starred in both Broadway musical revivals and in original Broadway musical casts. She has starred in revivals of Show Boat (1994), The Sound of Music (1998), the 2000 revival of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, and appeared as the replacement for Claudia in the 2003 revival of Nine, the Yeston/Kopit musical adaptation of the Federico Fellini film, 8 1/2.
Along with originating the role of Winifred Banks in the 2006 Broadway production of Mary Poppins, Rebecca Luker was nominated in 1991 for a Drama Desk Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Lily in the Lucy Simon/Marsha Norman musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, The Secret Garden.