The Hollywood invasion of Broadway, and theater in general, continues with grand entrances by Ryan Murphy, Tina Fey and more television stars than we can count. Here is some of the most notable casting news and more.
“The Boys in the Band”: TV producer Ryan Murphy (“Nip/Tuck,” “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story”) is behind the 50th anniversary production of Mart Crowley’s play. The cast includes Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells and Matt Bomer in a story examining the nuances and complications of the lives of gay men at a party on the Upper East Side. Previews begin April 30 at the Booth Theatre, with opening night scheduled for May 31.
“Children of a Lesser God”: Joshua Jackson (“The Affair,” “Fringe,” “Dawson’s Creek”) stars alongside newcomer (and former Miss Deaf America) Lauren Ridloff and Anthony Edwards (“ER”) in a revival of this Tony Award-winning 1980 drama by Mark Medoff. Kenny Leon directs the production about the anguished romance between a hearing teacher at a school for the deaf and a deaf custodian. Opening night is April 11 at Studio 54.
“Escape to Margaritaville”: File under “inevitable.” A Jimmy Buffett musical opened recently on Broadway with a book by TV writers Greg Garcia (“My Name Is Earl,” “Yes, Dear”) and Mike O’Malley (“Shameless”). The jukebox musical directed by Christopher Ashley features Parrothead favorites including “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and “License to Chill,” as well as a lobby full of blended cocktails. (You can read Times theater critic Charles McNulty’s review of the world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse last year.)
“Mean Girls”: Tina Fey’s bitingly funny 2004 teen film has been transformed into a musical with a book by Fey and music by her husband, Jeff Richmond, and Nell Benjamin. The show, opening April 8 at the August Wilson Theatre, revisits the reign of the hyper-popular, super-snarky crew of “Plastics” who make life miserable for normals at North Shore High School.
“Straight White Men”: Armie Hammer (“Call Me by Your Name,” “The Social Network”) will make his Broadway debut in Young Jean Lee’s play, which begins previews at the Helen Hayes Theater on June 29, with opening night scheduled for July 23. The play, a critical success at the Public Theatre in 2014, explores the difficult relationships among three brothers visiting their widowed father in the Midwest over the holidays. (You can read McNulty’s review of a 2015 run at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.)
“Mary Page Marlowe”: Emmy Award-winning actress Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”) will star in an Off-Broadway production of Tracy Letts’ portrait of a woman during various stages of her life. Maslany will be one of five actors playing the title role at Tony Kiser Theater, beginning previews on June 19, with a July 12 opening night. The production is directed by Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Lila Neugebauer.