Broadway rolls out red carpet

via flickr.com

Though always sparkling with talent, New York’s theater scene welcomes an abundance of celebrities to Broadway stages this season. From political dramas to sparkling fairy tales, Hollywood’s top performers will be taking a bite out of the Big Apple as they step into some of Broadway’s biggest roles.

“Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen will be temporarily filling a pair of glass slippers as she begins her limited run as Cinderella this February in “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” Alongside this pop sensation in the role of the strict and unfair Madame is Fran Drescher, best known for the TV series “The Nanny.” Both actresses will make their Broadway debuts on Feb. 4 at the Broadway Theater, taking the roles originally played by Laura Osnes and Harriet Harris, respectively.

“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston will star in the original play “All the Way,” written by Robert Schenkkan and directed by Bill Rauch. In his first Broadway role, Cranston plays President Lyndon B. Johnson in this story of an unexpected presidential journey. “All the Way” is a limited engagement at the Neil Simon Theater with previews beginning March 6.

“Scrubs” star Zach Braff will also make his Broadway debut at the St. James Theater as he takes on the leading role in the stage adaptation of Woody Allen’s 1994 film “Bullets Over Broadway.” Braff plays the role of David Shayne, a playwright who discovers his new play is being backed by a production team of gangsters. “Bullets Over Broadway,” directed by Tony-winner Susan Stroman, officially opens on April 10 with previews beginning March 11.

Some familiar celebrity faces are returning to Broadway this season as well. Denzel Washington, who was most recently seen on Broadway as Troy Maxson in the 2010 revival of “Fences,” stars in the newest revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” beginning previews March 3 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.  Idina Menzel, who most recently captured hearts in Disney’s animated blockbuster “Frozen,” will star in the original musical “If/Then” alongside Anthony Rapp, of “Rent” fame, starting March 30 at the Richard Rodgers Theater. Daniel Radcliffe, best known as Harry Potter, assumes the role of Billy in Martin McDonagh’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” starting April 20.

Neil Patrick Harris, four-time Tony Award host, will be returning to the theater in the title role of transgender musician Hedwig Robinson in the first Broadway staging of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” opening April 22 at the Belasco Theatre.

All NYU students, theater enthusiasts and cinephiles alike, will have the opportunity to see some of the hottest celebrities of Hollywood’s last season on Broadway this spring. To watch these illustrious performers for a discount, check NYU’s Ticket Central service or individual theaters’ student rush policies. A star is a star, even from the cheap seats!

Alyssa Dvorak is a staff writer. Email her at theater@nyunews.com.

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