Breakout theater stars 2016: Who is the next Lin-Manuel Miranda?

Many theater artists achieved celebrity status last year through critical praise and commercial success, including Annaleigh Ashford (who won a Tony for “You Can’t Take It With You” and went on to star in “Sylvia”) and of course Lin-Manuel Miranda (who was already a well-known writer and actor but has since emerged as a superstar thanks to “Hamilton”).

These are just a few very talented theater professionals who we’d like to see achieve major success this year:

Joe Iconis

The rock composer-lyricist-pianist (“Things to Ruin,” “Bloodsong of Love”), whose nightclub concerts are rowdy and raging jamborees, is way past due for a hit musical. His adaptation of the teen novel “Be More Chill” received its regional premiere last year and a cast album was just released.

Alexandra Silber

She’s great as Tevye’s eldest daughter Tzeitel in the Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof,” but the role doesn’t really showcase Silber’s pristine soprano voice. We need to see her take on a vocally sumptuous role in a classic musical like “My Fair Lady” or “Candide.” If the upcoming Broadway revival of “She Loves Me” is extended, she’d be a great replacement for Laura Benanti.

Griffin Matthews

As the star and co-author of the heartfelt autobiographical musical “Invisible Thread,” which just had a short off-Broadway run, Matthews proved himself to be a dynamic and promising young artist. Might he be the next Lin-Manuel Miranda?

Tom Wojtunik

As artistic director of the Astoria Performing Arts Center, Wojtunik’s small-scale revivals of musicals such as “The Secret Garden,” “Children of Eden” and “The Human Comedy” were extremely well-staged. Lately, he has been working on several new musicals.

Josh Grisetti

Since he burst onto the scene in “Enter Laughing: The Musical,” Grisetti’s career has been full of ups and downs. He was supposed to star in a revival of Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound” that closed in rehearsals. He recently took part in the international premiere of the Hal Prince tribute musical “Prince of Broadway,” which may come to New York.

Mara Davi

With her elastic voice and dancing abilities, Davi embodies the pizazz of old-fashioned musical comedy. She was right at home in the Broadway revival of “Dames at Sea,” but the 50-year-old musical comedy didn’t quite hold up. The right new musical or revival will hopefully come along for her.