See these celebrities in Broadway and Off-Broadway shows
From movie stars to singers, plenty of screen and stage stars are currently headlining at New York theatres.
In New York, it's not unheard of to spot a celebrity in public, walking their dog or attending a show. So it's no wonder, with so many living here, that plenty of celebrities find themselves on the Broadway or Off-Broadway stage at some point in their career. Many actors, having come from acting schools, get their start in theatre before gaining mainstream fame as a movie or TV star, and New York's stages allow them a return to their roots. Or, tried-and-true screen actors will make their stage debuts later in their careers to try something new. Either way, putting celebrities on stage gives audiences a chance to see their favorite stars live in a whole new way.
There are many celebrities on Broadway and off-Broadway to see right now, from comedians to musicians to screen veterans, many of whom do it all. Buzzy Broadway revivals and limited-run Off-Broadway shows alike are all studded with stars. Here are the celebrities in New York shows that are performing right now.
Beanie Feldstein and Jane Lynch in Funny Girl
Beanie Feldstein and Jane Lynch are the greatest stars of Funny Girl on Broadway this year. The two stage and screen stars play relatives — real-life Ziegfeld Follies performer Fanny Brice and her mother, Mrs. Rosie Brice, respectively — in this musical about Fanny's rise to fame and tumultuous romance with the gambler Nicky Arnstein, played by theatre veteran Ramin Karimloo.
Feldstein has been on the film circuit since 2016, when she landed her first major role in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. Since then, she's made a name for herself in films like Lady Bird and Booksmart and the miniseries American Crime Story: Impeachment, and she made her Broadway debut in 2017 in another high-profile Broadway revival: Hello, Dolly!
Funny Girl also marks the second Broadway appearance of Jane Lynch, after she appeared in Annie as Miss Hannigan in 2014. Lynch is best known for her screen work, in a role entirely opposite of her musical work: that of the theatre-hating, hard-nosed cheer coach Sue Sylvester in the long-running TV show Glee. She earned a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for the role, and she picked up another two Emmys for performing in Dropping the Soap and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but you don't need to go all the way there to see her — you can catch the real-life star in Funny Girl right here in New York.
Debra Messing and Enrico Colantoni in Birthday Candles
If you've wished to see Debra Messing return to Broadway, you're in luck. She's stepping into her first Broadway role since 2014 in Noah Haidle's Birthday Candles, a postponed production from 2020. She stars as Ernestine Ashworth, a woman celebrating more than 80 years' worth of birthdays and continually reevaluating what she wants out of life every step of the way.
But it was back in 1998 when Messing hit a turning point in her own life, landing her breakthrough role as interior designer in Will & Grace. The show ran for eight years, and was rebooted in 2017 for another three seasons. For Will & Grace, Messing received seven Golden Globe Award nominations and five Primetime Emmy Award nominations (including one win) for her performance. In between, Messing only built upon her onscreen success with appearances in Smash, The Mysteries of Laura, Hollywood Ending, The Mothman Prophecies, and more.
Messing will star in Birthday Candles on Broadway alongside Enrico Colantoni, who plays her neighbor and teenage admirer. Colantoni has had a 35-year screen acting career of his own, with some of his best-known roles being Keith Mars on Veronica Mars, Elliot DiMauro in Just Shoot Me!, Carl Elias on Person of Interest, and Sergeant Greg Parker on Flashpoint.
Patrick J. Adams, Jesse Williams, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson in Take Me Out
This year's revival of Take Me Out has hit a home run with this cast. Screen stars Patrick J. Adams, Jesse Williams, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are the key players in this show about Darren Lemming, a fictional Major League Baseball player who comes out as gay, facing backlash from his teammates and the public. Starring as that player, Darren Lemming, is Jesse Williams, best known for playing Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy for nearly 12 years and now makes his Broadway debut alongside Patrick J. Adams.
Adams, who plays Darren's teammate Kippy Sunderstrom, is a Screen Actors Guild Award-nominated actor known for his role as Mike Ross in Suits. He has also appeared on TV in NCIS, Lost, Friday Night Lights, and more. Also on the Take Me Out team is Jesse Tyler Ferguson, a five-time Emmy nominee and four-time Screen Actors Guild winner for playing Mitch Pritchett on all 10 seasons of Modern Family. He now returns to the stage as Mason Marzac, a gay accountant working for Darren who's very interested in his coming out.
Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker in Plaza Suite
Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker play three couples in Neil Simon's farce Plaza Suite, but their real-life love story long precedes this production. They married in 1997 (after performing at the same theatre company!) and later performed in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway together. But of course, each has established a successful independent acting career. Since landing his breakout role as the titular character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Broderick has gone on to star in critically acclaimed films like The Producers, The Lion King, The Music Man, and plenty other non-theatrical films. He's also a two-time Tony Award winner, for How to Succeed and Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Parker is synonymous with the groundbreaking Sex and the City franchise, in which she starred for six TV seasons, a series reboot, and two movies as the fashion-obsessed writer Carrie Bradshaw. She won two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards for her portrayal, but Sex and the City is far from her only claim to fame. She first performed on Broadway at age 11 in The Innocents and made her first major screen appearances in Footloose and Firstborn, and she's gone on to star in popular films like Honeymoon in Vegas, Hocus Pocus, The First Wives Club, and Failure to Launch.
Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in The Music Man
Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster lead the big parade at the Winter Garden Theatre, playing Harold Hill and Marian Paroo in this year's Broadway revival of The Music Man. Before starring as Harold — a con man who plans to swindle the residents of River City, Iowa, out of their money — Jackman made his Broadway debut in 2004's The Boy From Oz and earned a Tony Award. He won a second one in 2012 for his solo concert, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway.
Jackman has earned even wider acclaim for his film career, with his breakthrough role as Wolverine in 2000's X-Men leading to a 17-year career with the franchise. An Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning turn in Les Misérables, P. T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman, and Robert Angier in Prestige are among his other popular screen credits.
Sutton Foster has established a formidable Broadway roster leading up to her current role as Marian, a librarian who falls in love with Harold and is hesitant to expose his scheme. She gained fame as a last-minute replacement in the title role of Thoroughly Modern Millie and eventually won a Tony for the role, and she won a second one for playing Reno Sweeney in 2011's Anything Goes, a performance she reprised in London 10 years later. She's also starred in the Broadway musicals Little Women, The Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein, Shrek, and Violet. During her seven-year Broadway hiatus between Violet and The Music Man, she starred on the comedy/drama series Younger for all seven seasons.
David Byrne in David Byrne's American Utopia
With American Utopia, David Byrne is Byrne-ing down the house — the St. James Theatre, that is, where Byrne is right at home performing his greatest career hits. In his Tony-winning theatrical concert, the former Talking Heads frontman sings songs from his time with the band as well as music from the 2018 solo album that gives the Broadway show its name.
Byrne has been on the music scene since the 1970s, when the Talking Heads took off and became popular for their new wave sound. The band broke up in 1988, but Byrne quickly launched an equally successful solo career, and all his musical achievements earned him a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Now, you can see Byrne and his 11-piece band cover his five-decade career in an uplifting 100-minute performance.
James McAvoy in Cyrano de Bergerac
James McAvoy has had a prolific career on both stage and screen. Most know him as Professor X in the X-Men film series, in which he starred alongside the likes of Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry. But he's also received a British Independent Film Award for starring in Filth, a Golden Globe nomination for Atonement, several awards nominations for The Last King of Scotland, and widespread critical acclaim for Split. On stage, he's received four Olivier Award nominations for his performances in London's West End, including that of the titular role in a reimagined Cyrano de Bergerac. He's reprising that role in New York for a limited engagement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Patti LuPone in Company
Even those who don't "know" Broadway will likely recognize Patti LuPone. Her five-decade career has spanned not only theatre, but also plenty of film and television: her credits include the films Driving Miss Daisy and The 24 Hour Woman, and recurring roles on TV shows like Pose, Hollywood, Life Goes On, and Oz, to name a few. However, it is especially on stage where LuPone has become an icon.
Since making her professional acting debut in 1972, she's gone on to win Tony Awards for starring in Gypsy and Evita, in addition to being nominated for her performances in War Paint, Sweeney Todd, The Robber Bridegroom, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Anything Goes. LuPone has had equal success across the pond: she’s won Olivier Awards for originating the roles of Fantine in Les Misérables, Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, and Joanne in the latest revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company. Now, LuPone is reprising her Olivier Award-winning performance as Joanne in Company on Broadway.
Conrad Ricamora in Little Shop of Horrors
From one bloody show to another goes Conrad Ricamora. The actor is best known for his role on How To Get Away with Murder as the computer whiz Oliver Hampton. He now plays another geeky role, but this time on stage: He's the latest actor to play the adorably awkward Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors at the Westside Theatre. But he's no stranger to the Off-Broadway stage: Ricamora has two Lucille Lortel Award nominations under his belt, one each for the musicals Soft Power and Here Lies Love. He also played Lun Tha in the most recent revival of The King and I — and now suddenly, he's Seymour!
Alfie Allen in Hangmen
Alfie Allen is making his Broadway debut in 2022, assuming the role of the mysterious Londoner Mooney in Martin McDonagh's Hangmen. But before arriving on the Broadway scene, he's built his career in worlds known and unknown on stage and screen. In this world, Allen has starred in Hollywood films like Jojo Rabbit, John Wick, and The Predator, and he's appeared on the London stage in shows like Equus. But he's best known for his travels through the fantasy world of Game of Thrones, having played Theon Greyjoy on the show for all eight seasons.
Billy Crystal in Mr. Saturday Night
Live from New York, it's Mr. Saturday Night! Billy Crystal plays the title character, a has-been comedian named Buddy Young Jr., in a new musical adaptation of the 1992 film of the same name. He starred as Buddy in the film, too (which he also directed and co-wrote), in which he gets a second chance at fame and at repairing his long-broken relationships with his loved ones. Crystal himsel is making a long-awaited return to the Broadway stage; he last appeared there in 2013 with the second engagement of his solo show, 700 Days, after making his Broadway debut with it in 2004 and picking up a Drama Desk Award.