One of the most popular sources for theater information is word-of-mouth, reports the Broadway League. But how do you spread the news? While some people receive recommendations from friends or read reviews, TV and film lovers follow their favorite actors to see what roles they take on next. More and more film and TV stars are taking on title roles in the theater, so you can find some of your favorites on stage. Here’s a round-up of what’s happening this summer on Broadway and who to look out for from the silver screen:
Film star Helen Mirren returns to Broadway in the role of Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience.” Unlike many plays and movies that depict the drama and scandal of the monarchy, “The Audience” takes a look at the weekly private meetings Queen Elizabeth held with her 12 Prime Ministers over a 60-year period. You may recognize Mirren from films, such as the esteemed “Gosford Park” and the fun flick “National Treasure 2.” Her broad film range and acting chops earned her an Oscar for the film “The Queen.” Mirren also is no stranger to the small screen, appearing on TV shows like “Prime Suspect.”
“It’s Only a Play”
Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane take center stage this summer in “It’s Only a Play.” The two have teamed up in other Broadway hits like “The Producers” and “The Odd Couple.” Broderick is best known for roles like Ferris Bueller and as a high school teacher who falls into desperate times in “Election.” Nathan Lane is primarily known for his theater work and in comedy films like the “The Birdcage.” More recently, he’s had regular guest appearances on “Modern Family” as Pepper Saltzman and as Clarke Hayden in “The Good Wife.”
“Fish in the Dark”
TV star Larry David makes his Great White Way debut in “Fish in the Dark” at the Cort Theater. You may already know David without even realizing it. He was the co-creator and writer of “Seinfeld” before starring in his own TV hit comedy, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” This summer, Jason Alexander, who was George on “Seinfeld” and has regularly appeared in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will step into David’s current role for six weeks.
“An Act of God”
Jim Parsons steps into the role of God in “An Act of God” this summer. Parsons has won four best actor Emmy Awards as Sheldon on the CBS comedy series “The Big Bang Theory.” Like Sheldon’s biting comedic character, the real-life Parsons takes on the Bible, peppered with jokes and anecdotes, in this show. Parsons has also appeared on stage in a revival of “Harvey.”
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” took Broadway by storm when TV star Neil Patrick Harris played the title role. Harris is best known for his role as Barney Stenson on “How I Met Your Mother,” as well as the main character in “Doogie Howser, M.D.” However, Hedgwig embraces a new TV star this summer with Darren Criss, who played an openly gay student on “Glee” as well as Pierrepont Finch in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
Gone are the days that TV and film personalities tried their craft on stage when their careers were floundering. Today, the hottest stars spend their hiatus and summer breaks entertaining crowds from 42nd Street.