We’ve all seen the newest live television musicals from the likes of Fox and NBC, and most of us were introduced to our latest favorite stars – for example – Jordan Fisher, Maddie Baillio, Dove Cameron, and the NBC-to-Fox standout: Brandon Victor Dixon.
We all hated – and possibly felt sorry for – his Judas Iscariot in NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!” More recently, we were serenaded by and fell in love with him as Tom Collins in Fox’s “Rent Live.”
What you need to know about our favorite soulful standout:
1. 2003 – He was cast as Adult Simba in the national tour of Disney’s “The Lion King.”
2. 2005 – He created the role of Harpo in the musical “The Color Purple,” starring on Broadway (where he was Tony-nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical) and on tour.
3. 2007 – He played the musical legend Ray Charles in the Pasadena Playhouse’s “Ray Charles Live.” He was nominated for an Ovation Award for his portrayal of the blind singer/songwriting powerhouse.
4. 2010 – He portrayed the falsely-accused rapist Haywood Patterson in the original cast of “The Scottsboro Boys.” For this performance, he grabbed award nominations for the Oliviers, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Drama League, and Audelco Awards.
5. 2011 – He was cast as Tom Collins in “Rent” Off-Broadway.
6. 2013 – He created the role of Berry Gordy Jr. in “Motown: The Musical,” for which he nabbed a nomination for a Drama League Award.
7. 2016 – He played Eubie Blake in the musical “Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed,” and earned a second Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.
8. 2016 – Leslie Odom Jr. recruited him to play Aaron Burr in the smash hit “Hamilton,” for which he was chosen over THREE understudies!
9. 2017 – He began work as Terry Silver on the (still running!) Starz series “Power.”
10. 2018 – He became a household name with NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!” as Judas Iscariot, opposite names such as John Legend and Sara Bareilles. (Some would even argue that he completely stole the show!) He snagged a Primetime Emmy nomination with his powerful performance.
11. 2019 – In the short time that we’ve had, he revisited the role of Tom Collins in Fox’s “Rent Live,” and made us all – cast included – sob uncontrollably with his “I’ll Cover You (Reprise).”
Among all of this, Dixon co-founded WalkRunFly, which, according to his website, “ is most interested in developing new work by early stage artists.” Through WRF, he produced “Of Mice and Men” in 2014, as well as “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” which, starring Neil Patrick Harris, won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical AND the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical.
He also advocates for social justice, both on social media and the stage. On Instagram, he pushes for awareness of topics such as racial injustice, endangered wildlife populations, and empowering the African American community. And during a curtain call in “Hamilton,” while then-future Vice President Mike Pence visited, he delivered a short – yet powerful – speech (on behalf of the show’s cast and creators) to the new administration to fight for the “diverse America,” “a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds, and orientations.”
As the kids say: We stan a woke, talented king!
Even though he is a busy and #booked actor, Dixon frequently gives us never-before-seen glimpses backstage of his current projects via social media posts and the Instagram Live feature. We don’t deserve you, BVD!
Brandon Victor Dixon is a force to be reckoned with. Along with all of his superfans, I just cannot wait to see what role he takes on next.