Big name actors and actresses on Broadway isn’t something new, necessarily; Humphrey Bogart, Liza Minnelli, and Nathan Lane are just a few well-known stars who’ve starred in a Broadway show (or many) and still maintained Hollywood celebrity status.
But this year feels extra star-studded. There’s something kind of exciting about seeing your favorite celebrities take on the stage. For one thing, they’re right there instead of on a television or movie screen. For another, live acting has its challenges, and people always wonder how stars will fare.
Check out some of the Hollywood stars we’re excited to see on Broadway in 2013.
About the actor: Show me a person who doesn’t like Tom Hanks, and I’ll show you a liar. It’s not enough that he’s been in some of the most classic romantic comedies of all time, like "You’ve Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," he’s also been in movies like "Big," "Forrest Gump," "Saving Private Ryan," "The Green Mile," and "Cast Away." That’s right — Tom Hanks made us feel for a beaten up volleyball because he’s that good. Oh, and, he was also Woody in the "Toy Story" franchise. No big deal.
Broadway Show: Lucky Guy
Synopsis: It's a Nora Ephron play, so it'll probably be good. Tom Hanks plays real-life journalist Mike McAlary, who worked for the New York Daily News police beat. His involvement with police work didn't stop there, as he went on to write a book, contribute to a movie script, and even won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for his coverage of police brutalization. The show documents McAlary's life up through his untimely death in 1998.
About the actor: She’s riding high off her role as the Black Widow in "The Avengers," as well as her performance in "Iron Man 2." She’s pretty awesome, shutting down reporters who ask silly questions (like, "What were you wearing under your Black Widow outfit?") and she does charity work, has two albums, and is politically active. Johansson is also determined to prove those who say she lacks acting chops wrong with her theater work, which has gotten some good reviews.
Broadway Show: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Synopsis: This play, based on Tennessee Williams' classic, is about a Southern family that must face long-standing issues and tensions. As a vixen named Maggie (or Maggie the Cat), Johansson fulfills the role of a beautiful and determined woman who has escaped poverty to marry Brick, a member of the rich Pollitts family. Despite her newfound wealth, she finds herself unfulfilled. Her marital issues with Brick become all the more evident as the family must also deal with Brick's father, Big Daddy, having cancer.
About the actor: Cyndi Lauper won't exactly be starring in a play, but she will do the music for one, and that's even better. I know there's not one of you that hasn't, at some point in your life, had "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" stuck in your head — or maybe even "Time After Time" or "True Colors." Lauper is like a real-life version of Robin Sparkles (from "How I Met Your Mother"). She clearly knows how to make music that will stick with you, so I think people will be interested to see how she does with a Broadway show.
Broadway Show: Kinky Boots
Synopsis: Kinky Boots brings a 2005 British film, based on a true story, to the stage. It's a comedy about a man who is forced to take over his family's struggling shoe factory following his father's death. Lola, an entertainer who's in search of the perfect pair of stilettos, changes his outlook and the two work together to save the factory.
About the actor: "Game of Thrones" fans (me) will probably be excited to see Khaleesi, AKA Daenerys Targaryen, AKA Emilia Clarke, star in this iconic role. It didn't do well its last time on Broadway, but those behind the reboot are extremely optimistic that this time will be different. And why shouldn't it? Broadway veteran George Wendt, who some may know from his stint on the six-time Emmy Award nominated television show "Cheers," is in it, too.
Broadway Show: Breakfast at Tiffany's
Synopsis: Based on Truman Capote's novella, Breakfast at Tiffany's tells the story of Holly Golightly. Played by Clarke, Holly is the type of girl no one can resist — beautiful, free-spirited, charming, outgoing. In 1943 New York, she finds herself with a several wealthy male suitors, including the future president of Brazil and a playboy millionaire. Oh, and Fred, a young writer from Louisiana without two dimes to rub together. As the war in Europe wages on, Holly and Fred begin to fall for each other, just when secrets from her past begin to creep up and threaten their budding romance
Other celebrities on stage include Laurie Metcalf in The Other Place; Nathan Lane in The Nance; Bette Midler in I'll Eat You Last; Cuba Gooding Jr. in The Trip to Bountiful; and Alec Baldwin (former "30 Rock" star) in Orphans.
Who are you looking forward to seeing on stage? Or who do you think was the best actor-gone-thespian? I’m holding out hope that Ryan Gosling will do some kind of theater show so that my chances of “accidentally bumping into him” outside the show skyrocket.