The career makeover of Shia LaBeouf has taken another unexpected turn with the announcement that the young actor will make his Broadway debut in the spring alongside Alec Baldwin in a revival of the play “Orphans,” a drama about two brothers who kidnap a wealthy older man.
“Orphans” is scheduled to open April 7 at the Schoenfeld Theater in New York. LaBeouf will play the eldest brother who takes care of his weaker sibling in a run-down house in Philadelphia. Their kidnapping plot heads south when their captive turns on them.
Baldwin will play the part of the captive, while the role of the younger brother hasn’t been announced.
The play, written by Lyle Kessler, debuted in Los Angeles in 1983 at the Matrix Theatre and went on to an engagement at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and an off-Broadway run.
A former child actor, LaBeouf rose to fame starring in the “Transformers” action movies and the most recent “Indiana Jones” installment. But the 26-year-old made waves earlier this year by saying that he is swearing off Hollywood blockbusters in favor of riskier, indie-flavor projects.
True to his word, he recently embarked on “Nymphomaniac,” with Danish provocateur Lars von Trier, and appeared naked in a Sigur Rós video.
LaBeouf’s decision to try Broadway should count as a surprise considering the actor has little to no theater experience. He began his career doing stand-up comedy, eventually landing a role on the popular Disney Channel program “Even Stevens."
“Orphans” is a popular play that is often revived. Director Alan Pakula turned it into a movie in 1987, with a cast that included Albert Finney, Matthew Modine and Kevin Anderson.
In 2005, Al Pacino appeared in a workshop production of the play, alongside Jesse Eisenberg, at the Greenway Court Theatre in L.A.