Upcoming Hollywood Stars on Broadway - Summer 2015

The upcoming season has no shortage of brand-name stars

Top-notch Hollywood stars have recently been appearing on Broadway in nearly unprecedented numbers. It used to be that the only performers who appeared on the New York stage were either on their way up or on their way down. Now, there's no star who's too big to appear in a Broadway show, albeit for a limited engagement. 

Last season, we saw Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Glenn Close, Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Megan Mullaley, and Elizabeth Moss in various Broadway outings. (See Upcoming Broadway Stars on Broadway - Summer 2014.) This season promises a slate of stars that are no less luminous. 

Al Pacino.

One of the greatest actors of our time, Al Pacino is no stranger to the legitimate stage. Even when most stars considered a Broadway gig as an act of slumming, Pacino remained faithful to the art form that helped make him the star he is today. Pacino has returned to the Great White Way an average of every four years or so, even well after he had become one of the most in-demand and famous actors in the world. Pacino's most recent Broadway outing was a scant two seasons ago, a revival of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross. Pacino returns this season in a new Mamet play, China Doll, the first Broadway non-revival he has appeared in since his 1969 Broadway debut, Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?. China Doll concerns a successful business man who is beginning to step away from his business, but as he's leaving his office, he receives one last-minute fateful phone call. Pacino's Broadway appearances are typically extremely hot tickets, so look for this one to follow suit. China Doll begins previews at the Schoenfeld Theatre on October 21st, and opens November 19th.  More »

Keira Knightly.

Keira Knightley is one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood, and she's making her Broadway debut this season. Since her 2002 breakout performance in Bend It Like Beckham, Knightley has appeared in such populist fare as The Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as well as in such higher-toned vehicles as Atonement and The Imitation Game. Here, she stars in Thérèse Raquin, a new play by Helen Edmundson (Coram Boy). Thérèse Raquin is based on the Émile Zola novel and play of the same name, and concerns a woman stuck in a loveless marriage who takes up with an attractive man in a tempestuous and ultimately deadly affair. (As you can probably tell, the story here is a lot closer in mood to Atonement than it is to the Pirates franchise. So, fangirls beware.) In addition to Knightley, the cast also features Tony winners Gabriel Ebert and Judith LightThérèse Raquin will begin previews at Studio 54 on October 1st, toward an October 29th opening. More »

Clive Owen.

The craggily sexy Clive Owen also makes his Broadway debut this season in the first Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's Old Times. Owen graduated from the prestigious Royal Academic of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in 1987 and went on star in numerous West End productions with the Young Vic Theatre Company. He came to the attention of international audiences in the late '90s and early '00s with his performances in Croupier (1998) and Gosford Park (2001). In Old Times, Owen will play Deeley opposite Eve Best as his wife Kate. The couple are expecting a visit from Kate's old friend Anna (Kelly Reilly), whom Deeley has supposedly never met. As the night progresses, a number of disturbing revelations emerge, and in typical Pinter fashion, the play raises more questions than it answers. Will Owen fare as well at the box office as Bradley Cooper did last season, and Daniel Craig did with Pinter's Betrayal the season before? Or will the show prove to be a harder sell, like Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal in last season's The Real Thing? One way or the other, Old Times begins performances on September 17th toward an October 6th opening at the American Airlines TheatreMore »

Jessica Lange.

Two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange returns to Broadway this season in one of the great female roles of American theater: Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey Into Night. This is the fifth Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's posthumously produced masterwork, and will also star Gabriel Byrne, and Boardwalk Empire's Michael Shannon, and Tony winner John Gallagher Jr. Lange not only brings a long career's worth of stage and screen gravitas to the role, she also brings the renewed name-recognition factor of four seasons on the hit TV series American Horror Story. Regarding the oft-revived nature of the play, some theater wonks bemoan what they see as risk-averse producers relying too much on the same safe, time-worn plays that get revived with irritating frequency (e.g. Death of a Salesman, A Raisin in the Sun, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.) This may indeed be true, but I know that I personally can't get enough of what may be O'Neill's finest play, and am quite eager to see what Lange can do with the role. Long Day's Journey Into Night begins previews at the American Airlines Theatre on March 31th, 2016 and opens on April19th.  More »

Bruce Willis.

Bruce Willis has worked fairly regularly in film since his breakout stint as David Addison in Moonlighting in the 1980s. But he hasn't worked much on the stage since his early years Off-Broadway (including as an understudy to Ed Harris in Fool for Love in 1983). Willis hasn't yet performed on Broadway, but will do so this season in William Goldman's stage adaptation of Stephen King's MiseryMisery is the sort of screen-to-stage adaptation that I would normally give an extremely wide berth. I mean, adapting movies into musicals is one thing. There's at least (ideally) some creativity involved in adding songs to the story. But taking a movie and presenting it as a straight play? (e.g. On Broadway: The Graduate, On the Waterfront, In London: Rain Man, All About My Mother.) This only seems to work when there's some re-envisioning of the material (Brief Encounter) or heavy dose of clever stagecraft (The 39 Steps). If I do see Misery, it will primarily be because of Willis's costar, Laurie Metcalf, who is stepping into the role made famous by Kathy Bates, who won an Oscar for the 1990 screen version. Misery begins previews at the Broadhurst Theatre (newly vacated by the thankfully departing Mamma Mia!) on October 22nd toward a November 15th opening.  More »

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Caggiano, Chris. "Upcoming Hollywood Stars on Broadway - Summer 2015." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, thoughtco.com/upcoming-hollywood-stars-on-broadway-3219295. Caggiano, Chris. (2016, August 22). Upcoming Hollywood Stars on Broadway - Summer 2015. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/upcoming-hollywood-stars-on-broadway-3219295 Caggiano, Chris. "Upcoming Hollywood Stars on Broadway - Summer 2015." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/upcoming-hollywood-stars-on-broadway-3219295 (accessed November 23, 2017).