In 1993, a very young Zach Braff had a brief part as Woody Allen’s college-age son in “Manhattan Murder Mystery.” Now the former “Scrubs” actor will be reuniting with Allen in the new stage-musical version of “Bullets over Broadway” that is expected to officially open on Broadway on April 10.
Braff will play the lead role originated by John Cusack in Allen’s 1994 movie about an idealistic New York playwright who sells out to the mob in order to get his latest show produced. The musical version will be choreographed and directed by Susan Stroman, who won a Tony Award for directing another film-to-stage adaptation, “The Producers.”
“Bullets” will feature music from the Roaring 20’s era, as did the movie, but presumably in a more central way. (Graciela Daniele choreographed the musical numbers in the movie.) No casting has been announced for the supporting roles of Helen “Don’t speak” Sinclair, originally played by Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest, or the gangster Cheech, played by Chazz Palminteri.
But organizers announced that Vincent Pastore, who played Big Pussy in HBO’s “The Sopranos,” will play the role of a mob boss. Hélene Yorke will take the role originated by Jennifer Tilly -- the mobster’s talentless moll who gets a part in the play. Allen’s regular production designer, Santo Loquasto, will create the sets for the musical.
A workshop version of “Bullets” reportedly will take place in October. The musical is being produced by Allen’s longtime movie producer (and sister) Letty Aronson as well as Julian Schlossberg. “Bullets” is to run at the St. James Theatre in New York.
This will be Braff’s first Broadway role, but he has performed theater before and even wrote a play that ran off-Broadway at New York’s Second Stage Theatre in 2011.
He most recently made news with his Kickstarter campaign for an upcoming movie directorial effort. Braff experienced some backlash from those who questioned why an actor of his stature would need to rely on crowdsource funding.