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Judy Kuhn

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Judy Kuhn is an American actress and soprano.

Kuhn was born in New York City on May 20, 1958. Her training as a classical soprano was at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, from which she graduated in 1981. She earned her first Broadway credit working as an assistant to the director of a short-lived musical, Don’t Step on My Olive Branch, in 1976. Her first onstage appearance on the Great White Way was in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a Rupert Holmes musical based on the unfinished Charles Dickens novel, in 1985. Her next production was the ill-fated Rags, which closed two days after opening night, but she hit paydirt with her next assignment, the New York premiere of Les Misérables (1987), in which she portrayed Cosette, and for which she received her first Tony Award nomination, as Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

The following year, Kuhn took on another transfer from London’s West End, the Trevor Nunn-directed Chess, with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (formerly of ABBA) and lyrics by Tim Rice. Despite the show’s huge success in London, its creative team decided to rework it for Broadway, with disastrous results. It was greeted indifferently by the critics and closed after a less than two-month run, but Kuhn managed to earn another Tony nod, this time as Best Actress. Two Shakespearean Actors (1992), despite an impressive cast that included Brian Bedford, Frances Conroy, Hope Davis, Victor Garber, Laura Innes, and Eric Stoltz, was even less successful, closing after only sixty-two performances.

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