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Luker at the NYS ARTS Fall Gala 2008
Rebecca Luker (born April 17 1961) is an Americanmarker musical theatre actress and soprano who has appeared in several prominent Broadwaymarker productions.

Biography

Luker was born in Helena, Alabamamarker, near Birminghammarker. She attended the University of Montevallomarker, earning a B.A. in music, taking a year off to perform with the Michigan Opera Theatre in 1984.

Luker's Broadwaymarker debut was in The Phantom of the Opera as an understudy to Sarah Brightman and eventual replacement in the leading role of Christine (1988-91). Subsequent Broadway roles included 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), Maria in The Sound of Music (1998-99), Marian in The Music Man (2000-01), and Claudia in Nine (2003). Currently she is playing the role of Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins (2006-09).

Luker has been nominated for three Tony Awards. Two for Leading Actress in a Musical - once for Show Boat (a unique Tony nomination year, only Luker and Glenn Close were nominated) and once for The Music Man. Her role in Mary Poppins garnered her a 2007 Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a musical. In addition, she has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards for The Secret Garden and The Music Man. The New York Times has compared her to actresses such as Barbara Cook and Julie Andrews.

Luker appeared in the Off-Broadway plays The Vagina Monologues, Indian Summer, X (Life of Malcolm X), Brigadoon and Can't Let Go.

Her TV appearances include Matlock, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the Hallmark movie Cupid & Cate.

Among many recordings, Luker is featured on the Aria albums by Paul Schwartz.

Luker married Danny Burstein in 2000 and has two stepsons. She is divorced from Greg Jbara.

Notes

  1. Gates, Anita. Playing It Sweet, If She Needs To, Or Sexy-Funny. The New York Times, March 8, 1998. Retrieved October 14, 2006.
  2. Luker's IBDB biography
  3. Holden, Stephen. "The Ghosts of Broadway, Past and Future", The New York Times, December 14, 2005. Retrieved October 14, 2006.
  4. Burstein's biography at the IBDB database


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