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Rebecca Luker (born April 17, 1961) is an American actress, singer and recording artist who has appeared in several musical theatre productions on Broadway. Luker's voice type is soprano. The New York Times has compared her to actresses such as Barbara Cook and Julie Andrews.[1] She has been nominated for three Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards, and she is featured on opera star Plácido Domingo's recording, The Broadway I Love (1991).

Rebecca Luker
Rebecca Luker.jpg
Luker at the NYS ARTS Fall Gala 2008
Born (1961-04-17) April 17, 1961 (age 58)
EducationUniversity of Montevallo, 1984
OccupationActress, singer, recording artist
Years active1984–present
Danny Burstein (m. 2000)

Life and careerEdit

Luker was born in Helena, Alabama, the daughter of a high school treasurer and a construction worker.[2] She attended the University of Montevallo, earning a BA in music, taking a year off in 1984 to perform in Sweeney Todd as Johanna Barker (also starring Judy Kaye as Mrs. Nellie Lovett) at the Michigan Opera Theatre.[3]

Luker's Broadway debut was in The Phantom of the Opera in the role of Christine (1988–91). She was originally an understudy for principal actress Sarah Brightman and her alternate Patti Cohenour. Luker later took over the role after Brightman and Cohenour subsequently left the show. Subsequent Broadway roles include Lily in The Secret Garden (1991–93), Magnolia in Show Boat (1994–97; the first actress to be nominated for a Tony Award for this role),[4] Maria in The Sound of Music (1998–99), Marian in The Music Man (2000–01), and Claudia in Nine (2003). She played the role of Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins from 2006[5] to 2010. She later replaced Victoria Clark as Crazy Marie/the Fairy Godmother in the Broadway production of Cinderella for an engagement that lasted from September 2013 to January 2014.[6] Luker joined the cast of Fun Home at the Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway, temporarily assuming the role of Helen Bechdel from April 5, 2016 to May 22, 2016.[7]

Luker appeared Off-Broadway in The Vagina Monologues, Indian Summer, X (Life of Malcolm X), Brigadoon, Death Takes a Holiday, and Can't Let Go. During 2002, the Kennedy Center presented a "Sondheim Celebration"; Luker appeared in Passion as Clara. She performed in the New York City Center Encores! staged concerts of The Boys from Syracuse and Where's Charley?. Her TV appearances include Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, Matlock, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the Hallmark movie Cupid & Cate. She appeared in the 2012 film Not Fade Away. On January 11, 2016, Luker reprised the role of Lily in The Secret Garden at a benefit performance at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

Luker performs in concerts with symphony orchestras around the world; she is also a cabaret performer. Her solo cabaret act, Rebecca Luker Sings Jerome Kern, debuted at 54 Below in New York City (2012).[8] She performed in the concert "Bridge to Broadway" (2012),[9] "NEW VOICES at NYU: A Celebration of Songs by NYU Musical Theatre Writers Past and Present" (2012),[10] a Rodgers and Hammerstein concert at the Kennedy Center (2011),[11] and a solo concert at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre (2008).[12] Luker won the Bistro Award for her cabaret act at Feinstein's at the Regency which was devoted to female songwriters (2006). She also performed a solo concert in the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center's Allen Room (2005).

Luker, Truman Capote, and To Kill a Mockingbird were the 2001 Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame inductees. She also received a doctorate of fine arts, honoris causa on May 5, 2010 from her alma mater, the University of Montevallo.[13]

She married Danny Burstein in June 2000[14] and has two stepsons, Zachary and Alexander.

Awards and nominationsEdit


Solo recordingsEdit

Cast recordingsEdit

Featured recordingsEdit

  • Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project (2012, Over the Moon)
  • Victor Herbert: Collected Songs (2012, New World Records)
  • Show Some Beauty (2011, Yellow Sound Label)
  • Poetic License 100 Poems/100 Performers (2010, GPR Records)
  • Tom Herman: Music for Voice (2008, CDBY)
  • State of Grace III (2006, Koch Int’l Classics)
  • The Real Thing: Jamie deRoy and Friends, Volume 7 (2006, Harbinger Records)
  • Jule Styne in Hollywood (2006, PS Classics)
  • Philip Chaffin: Warm Spring Night (2005, PS Classics)
  • Jeepers Creepers: Great Songs from Horror Films (2003, Red Circle)
  • Aria 3: Metamorphosis (2003, Koch Records)
  • Believe: The Songs of The Sherman Brothers (2003, Varèse Sarabande)
  • Sweet Appreciation: Rusty Magee Live at the West Bank Café (2002, SixFootPlusMusic)
  • Peter Buchi: An American Voice (2002, Azica)
  • My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs (2001, Hybrid Recordings)
  • Aria 2: New Horizon (1999, Astor Place Recordings)
  • A Little Bit in Love (1999 Compilation Album, JAY Records)
  • Simple Gifts: Carols from the Abbey (1998, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS)
  • Bernstein Dances (1998, Deutsche Grammophon)
  • A Special Place: Songs from the Heart (1998, Original Cast Records)
  • George & Ira Gershwin: Standards & Gems (1998 Compilation Album, Nonesuch Records)
  • The Best of the Broadway Divas (1997 Compilation Album, Varèse Sarabande)
  • The Best of In Celebration of Life 1-5 (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS)
  • Aria (1997, Astor Place Recordings)
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997, Walt Disney Records)
  • Unsung Musicals II (1995, Varèse Sarabande)
  • Lost in Boston III (1995, Varèse Sarabande)
  • Voices of Broadway: Songs of Conscience and Hope (1994, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS)
  • Musicals! (1993 Compilation Album, EMI Records)
  • Unsung Sondheim (1993, Varèse Sarabande)
  • Jerome Kern Treasury (1993, EMI Records)
  • Jerome Kern in London and Hollywood (1992, Rialto Records)
  • Broadway Showstoppers (1992, EMI Records)
  • Sing Before Breakfast (1991, Rialto Records)
  • Plácido Domingo: The Broadway I Love (1991, Warner Music)
  • Early Kern (1991, Rialto Recordings)
  • Keep Your Undershirt On (1990, Rialto Recordings)


  1. ^ Holden, Stephen. "The Ghosts of Broadway, Past and Future", The New York Times, December 14, 2005. Retrieved October 14, 2006.
  2. ^ "Luker Biography"
  3. ^ Gates, Anita. Playing It Sweet, If She Needs To, Or Sexy-Funny. The New York Times, March 8, 1998. Retrieved October 14, 2006.
  4. ^ "Luker Broadway Credits" Internet Broadway Database, accessed September 12, 2011
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew.Mary Poppins Lands on Broadway at New Amsterdam Theatre Oct. 14", October 14, 2006
  6. ^ Rebecca Luker to Replace Victoria Clark in CINDERELLA September 6 thru January 19 Retrieved September 10, 2013
  7. ^ Tony Nominee Rebecca Luker Steps in for Judy Kuhn in Fun Home, Beginning Tonight Broadway World, Retrieved April 5, 2016
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth."The Song Is Him: Rebecca Luker Talks About the Joy of Singing Jerome Kern", July 2, 2012
  9. ^ Gioia, Michael."Rebecca Luker and Marin Mazzie Are Part of Bridge to Broadway Concert July 2 at NYC River to River Festival", July 2, 2012
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew."Danny Burstein, Rebecca Luker, Rory O'Malley, Drew Gehling, Kate Shindle Set for NYU Concert", March 23, 2012
  11. ^ "NSO Pops: Some Enchanted Evening: The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein / Steven Reineke, conductor" Kennedy Center, accessed July 2, 2012
  12. ^ Pressley, Nelson."Literary Notes From Broadway's Rebecca Luker"The Washington Post, November 10, 2008
  13. ^ "Rebecca Luker to be commencement speaker" University of Montevallo, May 5, 2010, accessed September 12, 2011
  14. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Madam Librarian! Actors Rebecca Luker and Danny Burstein Tie the Knot" Archived 2012-10-22 at the Wayback Machine, June 14, 2000

External linksEdit