By Marc Brenner, courtesy The Cripple of Inishmaan
Published June 03, 2014
While much of the allure of Broadway is its high-production-value musicals, with tantalizing tap lines and belted solos from theater’s top stars, nonmusical productions, particularly classic plays, are having a renaissance on Broadway. Drawing in huge stars of the silver screen, these plays offer theatergoers a chance to be near their favorite stars.
• “Of Mice and Men” — Starring James Franco as George and Chris O’Dowd as Lennie, “Of Mice and Men” has naturally been a hit with school groups, many of whom see the play while reading the Nobel Prize-winning novel about migrant workers during the Great Depression in school. While Franco’s name has been a draw for many, O’Dowd, best known for his comedic work, is up for a Tony for his rendition of Lennie.
• “The Cripple of Inishmaan” — This dark comedy from renowned Irish playwright Martin McDonagh centers on a small town in the Aran Islands thrust into the Hollywood spotlight when a film crew comes to town to shoot a documentary. Though many are drawn by the chance to see Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, the show has swept up six Tony nominations, including a best featured actress nod for Sarah Greene, a stage star from Dublin.
• “A Raisin in the Sun” — Now on its second Broadway revival, coinciding with the 55th anniversary of its premiere, “A Raisin in the Sun,” follows the concept of Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” from an African-American perspective — and with a much happier ending. Although Denzel Washington didn’t get a Tony nod, the show is up for best revival of a play and best direction, and the female cast has received three nominations.