Hollywood’s biggest names are performing live in NYC
Last month, Broadway was inundated with A-list Hollywood talent starring in exciting new productions and revivals. Denzel Washington returned to the stage for the first time since 2010 to star in A Raisin in the Sun, while Zach Braff made his Broadway debut in Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway. Both shows are still running, and this April the trend continues with more famous faces and silver screen icons gracing the stage.
After nine years playing the beloved, quick-witted womanizer Barney on CBS’s hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris is taking no breathers. This month, the talented hold-nothing-back actor makes his long-awaited return to Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a heartbreaking and funny rock musical revival about a fictional rock band fronted by an East German transgender singer (Harris). You may have seen him shine onstage as host of the Tony Awards, now see him take on this exciting new role in an unforgettable performance. (Previews began 3/29, Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St.)
If you’re looking for a different type of star-powered revival, check out Of Mice and Men, featuring multifaceted Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee James Franco (127 Hours, Milk) and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, “Girls”). This marks the first time in forty years that Broadway is hosting the classic American play that follows two migrant workers in Depression-era California who long for a farm and home of their own. However, when they take up work on a California ranch, their dreams “go tragically awry.” (Previews began 3/19, Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St.)
Another Hollywood star hitting the stage this month is Bryan Cranston, a Golden Globe and three-time Emmy Award winning actor whose depth and versatility knows no bounds. Perhaps you know him best as the neurotic father from Malcolm in the Middle, or more recently as the chemistry teacher turned drug dealer in Breaking Bad? Now you can watch him portray one of America’s most intriguing presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson, in All the Way. The play depicts the early period of LBJ’s presidency and his relationship with key political figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and J. Edgar Hoover. It’s a stunning look at a vital and volatile time in American history as seen through the eyes of the president who succeeded JFK. (Previews began 2/10, Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St.)
What other stars will you find on Broadway in April? How about Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine) starring in Cabaret, a musical revival directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty). Billed as “one of Broadway’s greatest productions” and also starring Alan Cumming, who recently impressed critics with his solo tour-de-force performance in Macbeth, Cabaret tells the story of a seedy nightclub in 1930’s Berlin where a young English performer strikes up a relationship with an American writer, all while a zealous Master of Ceremonies (Cumming) commands the action at the Kit Kat Klub. Full of memorable songs and award-winning talent, Cabaret is a musical journey that shouldn’t be missed! (Previews began 3/21, Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St.)