Thursday, August 18, 2011

Star Power: The Plays

One of the up sides of recent seasons has been the abundance of well-known actors who have graced the Broadway stage.  In many, if not most, cases, this has been a great thing.  Film and television fans have gotten to see such "names" as Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, Robin Williams, Ellen Barkin, Jim Parsons, Justin Bartha, the casts of God of Carnage and many others.  Stage fans have had their pick in recent years, too, including Angela Lansbury, Viola Davis, Cherry Jones, Jan Maxwell, Brian Bedford, James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave,  as well as new comers like Eddie Redmayne, Seth Numrich and Allison Pill.

This season is shaping nicely, too, for star-gazers and theatre fans, alike, not to mention those of us who are both!  Looking at the number of plays and play revivals scheduled for this season, there are a number of performers who should be of interest to everyone.  Here is a list of actors currently attached to projects scheduled to open in the 2011 - 2012 season, divided up by their medium of notoriety.  Most of them overlap, and since every actor in New York has appeared on the Law and Order series or The Good Wife, I only count "TV" actors as those known primarily for that, not the occasional appearance.

* Stage   @ TV    # Film

  • Master Class: Tyne Daly@* (Cagney and Lacey, Gypsy), Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid, love Never Dies)
  • Man and Boy: Frank Langella*# (Dracula, Frost/Nixon), Michael Siberry* (Spamalot, Death Takes a Holiday)
  • Relatively Speaking: Mark Linn-Baker *@ (Perfect Strangers, Doonesbury: The Musical), Lisa Emery* (Rumors, The Smell of the Kill), Ari Graynor* (The Little Dog Laughed), Steve Guttenberg# (Three Men and a Baby, Police Academy) , Julie Kavner@ (Rhoda, The Simpsons), Grant Shaud@ (Murphy Brown), Marlo Thomas@ (That Girl)
  • The Mountaintop: Samuel L. Jackson# (Star Wars), Angela Bassett (What's Love Got to Do with It)
  • Other Desert Cities: Stockard Channing*# (Six Degrees of Separation, Grease), Rachel Griffiths@ (Six Feet Under, Brothers and Sisters), Judith Light @* (Who's the Boss?, One Life to Live, Lombardi), Stacy Keach*@# (NYSF, numerous films), Thomas Sadoski* (Reasons to Be Pretty, The House of Blue Leaves)

Master Class, Relatively Speaking, The Mountaintop
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities, Rachel Griffiths
  • Venus in Fur: Nina Arianda* (Born Yesterday), Hugh Dancy*# (Black Hawk Down, Journey's End)
  • Private Lives: Kim Catrall@# (Sex and the City)
  • Seminar: Alan Rickman*# (Les Liaisons Dangerueses, Harry Potter...)
  • The Road to Mecca: Rosemary Harris*# (The Royal Family, A Delicate Balance, An Inspector Calls, Spider-Man), Jim Dale* (Joe Egg, Barnum), Carla Gugino#* (Spy Kids, After the Fall, Desire Under the Elms)
  • W;t: Cynthia Nixon@#* (Sex and the City, Rabbit Hole)

Brian Murray, Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Andrew Garfield,
John Lithgow,
James Earl Jones, Jonathan Groff,
Rutina Wesley
  • The Old Masters: Brian Murray* (The Crucible, Mary Stuart, The Importance of Being Earnest), Sam Waterston@* (Law and Order, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, A Walk in the Woods)
  • Death of a Salesman: Philip Seymour Hoffman*@ (True West, Twister, Capote), Andrew Garfield# (Spider-Man), Linda Emond* (Life x 3, 1776)
  • The Columnist: John Lithgow*@# (Sweet Smell of Success, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Third Rock from the Sun, Dexter, The World According to Garp, Footloose)
  • Streetcar Named Desire: Blair Underwood@# (Sex and the City, L.A. Law, The Event, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Deep Impact)
  • The Best Man: James Earl Jones*# (Driving Miss Daisy, Star Wars, Field of Dreams)
  • The Submission (Off-Broadway): Jonathan Groff *@ (Spring Awakening, Deathtrap, Glee), Rutina Wesley@ (True Blood), Eddie Kaye Thomas #* (American Pie, Dog Sees God)

RUMOR: A 5-time Tony winner is rumored to be joining James Earl Jones in The Best Man.

I'm sure this list is only the tip of the iceberg. And, of course, it is subject to change.

Who are you excited to see onstage this season?

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1 comment:

  1. I have to admit, I'm one of those people who gets excited at the prospect of seeing actors I love from TV and movies.

    I'm most excited about seeing my childhood heroine, Marlo Thomas. That Girl was one of my favorite TV shows growing up. Also, I've missed James Earl Jones in his last two Broadway outings, so I'm really hoping to see him this time.

    Rachel Griffiths and Angela Bassett are favorites of mine, too. And Andrew Garfield is awfully cute. ;-)


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