Best Musical Theater Actor (2007)

Cedric Neal

Opera's loss is musical theater's gain with this super-talented 32-year-old thesp. The Oak Cliff native and Arts Magnet High School grad headed off to the Eastman School of Music hoping one day to sing Othello at The Met. "But opera was too restrictive for me," says Cedric Neal, now one of Dallas theater's busiest singer-dancer-actors. He most recently starred in Uptown Players' hit tick, tick...BOOM! (by the composer of Rent) and in WaterTower Theatre's Brief History of White Music. Since making his local debut in Uptown's The Life in 2003, Neal hasn't stopped working. And when he's not singing his heart out, he's in church. Oak Cliff's Inspiring Body of Christ Church, to be precise. This spirited actor says he has three dream roles in his musical future: Tony in West Side Story, Fiyero in Wicked and one of the puppets in Avenue Q. Glad this guy likes to sing for his supper.