Spring Arts Guide: Celebrities are coming to Broadway

James Franco stars in "Of Mice and Men." Credit: Provided
James Franco and Chris O’Dowd star in “Of Mice and Men.”
Credit: Provided

It’s going to be an abnormally hot spring — on Broadway, at least. This season is so laden with stars it’s practically galactic. Not only are several powerhouse thespians taking center stage, but so are a smattering of popular personalities from film and TV.

Veterans of the Great White Way include Neil Patrick Harris in the highly anticipated Broadway premiere of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Idina Menzel in new musical “If/Then,” Sutton Foster in the formerly off-Broadway “Violet” and Alan Cumming reprising his role as the Emcee in “Cabaret,” for which he won a Tony Award in 1998.

Their peers, who may be more recognizable in 2-D, take on mostly straight plays. Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) leads as President Johnson in a limited engagement of “All the Way.” Denzel Washington returns to Broadway in a revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” There’s also Renaissance Man James Franco tackling the literary classic “Of Mice and Men.” Daniel Radcliffe (“Harry Potter”) is back in his big-stage element —following “Equus” and “How to Succeed in Business” — in “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” a black comedy about an Irish orphan who aims to become a movie star. And Zach Braff (“Scrubs”) makes an appearance in the musical adaptation of Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway,” wherein mobsters get involved to finance a play.

How each of these celebrities will perform in their respective vehicles is half the draw of the box office this season. One thing’s for certain: It’s going to be one hell of a megawatt Tony Awards come June.


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