All the times Jim Parsons made a bang on Broadway and beyond

The four-time Emmy Award winner returns to Broadway in Paula Vogel's Mother Play, a world-premiere show also starring Jessica Lange and Celia Keenan-Bolger.

Joe Dziemianowicz
Joe Dziemianowicz

Geekdom becomes Jim Parsons. When some fans hear his name, they'll always think of Sheldon Cooper first. Fair enough: Parsons played the nerdy theoretical physicist from 2007 to 2019 in The Big Bang Theory, winning four Emmy Awards for his work.

Beyond the small screen, Parsons has showcased his knack for light-as-air comedy, weighty drama, and everything in between, on stage. When he wasn't acting up as Sheldon, one could often find Parsons center stage, assuming other alter egos.

Parsons made his New York theatre debut off Broadway in Franza Kafka’s The Castle. In April, he’s on Broadway in Mother Play, a new Paula Vogel play also starring Jessica Lange and Celia Keenan-Bolger. Find out about more of the plays and musicals on and off Broadway in which Parsons made a bang.

Get Mother Play tickets now.

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Infernal Bridegroom Productions

Parsons and Jason Nodler co-founded this theatre company in Parsons's home state of Texas in 1993. Parsons kickstarted his acting career by performing in 15 shows with Infernal Bridegroom Productions — including Guys & Dolls, Othello, and The Cherry Orchard — before the company dissolved in 2007.

The Castle

Kafka’s characteristically enigmatic story looked at life and the bureaucracy and alienation that goes with it. Parsons played Jeremiah, who’s there presumably to assist a man simply called K. Suffice it to say that Jeremiah is little help.

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The Normal Heart

Larry Kramer’s poignant and angry drama recalls the tumultuous early days of the AIDS epidemic. In the 2011 Broadway production, Parsons played Tommy Boatwright, a hospital administrator, an ardent activist, and a self-proclaimed “Southern bitch.” He won a Theatre World Award for his performance and reprised the role in the 2014 TV movie.

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Parsons hopped into the lead role of Elwood Dowd in the 2012 revival of Mary Chase’s 1944 comedy. Concerns arise when it’s revealed that Elwood’s BFF (bunny friend forever) is a man-sized invisible rabbit. “The gentle farce provides an ideal vehicle for the gifted Jim Parsons,” the Hollywood Reporter's critic raved.

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An Act of God

Oh my God, yes, Parsons played The Supreme Being in the 2015 Broadway premiere of the comedy written by David Javerbaum and directed by The Normal Heart star Joe Mantello. Turns out that God has jokes to crack and bones to pick about the Commandments. “Parsons’s quirky charm is generally enough to carry the day,” the New York Theatre Guide review reads.

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The Boys in the Band

Fifty years after Mart Crowley’s landmark dramedy about gay men in New York City debuted off Broadway, the play made its Broadway premiere in 2018. Parsons played birthday boy Michael, whose party sets the scene for cake, quips, and drama. Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, and Andrew Rannells (now on Broadway in Gutenberg! The Musical!) also were part of director Joe Mantello’s sterling cast. All reprised their roles in the 2020 Netflix movie version.

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A Man of No Importance

Twenty years after the 2002 debut of Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, and Terrence McNally's musical, Classic Stage Company presented a revival starring Parsons as Alfie Byrne, a Dublin bus conductor who runs an amateur theatre troupe and grapples with being gay. New York Theatre Guide’s four-star review noted that Parsons “convincingly inhabits Alfie's earnestness and diffidence,” which went a long way to make the show “stirring and gorgeous.”

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Mother Play

Family dysfunction, coming right up! Parsons is in top-tier, Tony-winning company in Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel’s new show, set in 1962. That includes Jessica Lange as his vexing mom and To Kill a Mockingbird’s Celia Keenan-Bolger as his sister, who together cope with the changes in their world and each other. Performances begin April 3 at the Hayes Theater.

Get Mother Play tickets now.

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