Do you remember Olivia from The Cosby Show? The uber adorable little girl who stole scenes everywhere she went? Well, now she's a nun. On Broadway, that is. She's currently playing Deloris in the Broadway production of Sister Act.
Time will tell whether Raven-Symoné's time on the big stage proves successful. But overall, former child stars who make it to Broadway have had mixed results. Here are a few child stars who have made the leap, some who have soared and some who have flopped.
Daniel Radcliffe, Equus and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: The Harry Potter star first made waves on Broadway in Equus, a very not-appropriate-for-children production that was a stark departure from the role that made him famous (along with some disturbing subject matter, the role required him to appear fully nude onstage). Radcliffe received rave reviews for his performance, and last year he returned to Broadway as the lead in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, for which he also received plenty of praise. I saw him in How to Succeed last summer, and he was amazing. Radcliffe's Broadway future seems pretty secure.
Abigail Breslin, The Miracle Worker: Miss Breslin had a less successful and somewhat more drama-filled run on Broadway. As soon as it was announced that the Little Miss Sunshine star would be playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, advocacy groups for deaf and blind actors protested the selection of an actress who can hear and see for the iconic role. Breslin maintained her role, but after lukewarm reviews, the show closed early after only 21 preview performances and 38 regular performances, losing a few million dollars for its producers.
Nick Jonas, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: Everyone's heard of the Jonas Brothers, and Nick Jonas is the one who has been in theatre all his life, starring on Broadway when he was seven years old. However, he didn't become a big star until he became a part of the Jonas Brothers' fame, starring in television shows and movies and touring with his brothers. He returned to Broadway early this year to replace Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed, and so far I haven't heard any complaints. He has serious theatre chops, after all.
Christina Ricci, Time Stands Still: Ricci rose quickly to stardom as a young girl, starring in two different Addams Family movies and Casper by the time she was 15. She made her Broadway debut in late 2010 in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Time Stands Still. Apparently the performance didn't scare her away from the theatre, and she must have impressed someone, because she just started a run of A Midsummer Night's Dream alongside Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth Off-Broadway. Besides her success on television and in films, she might have a theatre career ahead of her, as well.
Alisan Porter, Footloose and A Chorus Line: If you don't know who Alisan Porter is, maybe it would help to call her by a different name: Curly Sue. She starred in the title role of the John Hughes film back in 1991 opposite Jim Belushi. After high school, she turned her sights to Broadway, where she performed in Footloose as Urleen and later in A Chorus Line. Porter was somewhat successful on Broadway, but she never hit it big. She's since focused more on her music career and starting a family.
Can you think of any other child stars who tried to make the leap to Broadway? Tell us in the comments!