All the times Sarah Jessica Parker stole the New York stage
The Sex and the City star has had a long career on and off Broadway.
Everyone knows Sarah Jessica Parker for her iconic turn as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. She's demonstrated talent, style, spunk, and success to countless women who watched her. But none of that would have happened if she didn't get her start on stage. And if you've seen her perform live — or simply follow her multi-award-winning acting/producing career — you know that she demonstrates that same spunk and success in real life, too.
If you haven't seen Parker onstage, now's your chance. She's returning to the New York stage for the first time since 2013, and to Broadway for the first time since 1995, in a revival of Neil Simon's Plaza Suite. She and her real-life husband, fellow actor Matthew Broderick, star as three different couples navigating relationship bumps at New York's Plaza Hotel. To get you pumped for Parker's triumphant Broadway return, take a trip through all her past New York theatre roles, and then grab your tickets on TodayTix to see her and Broderick in Plaza Suite.
Parker was 11 years old when she made her Broadway debut in The Innocents. The show, based on Henry James's Gothic horror novella The Turn of the Screw, only ran for 12 performances, but it launched Parker's stage career. She played the 8-year-old Flora, one of two children who's possessed by the spirits of their old caretakers, or so their new governess thinks. Spooky!
For a few stints between 1978 and 1980, Parker joined Miss Hannigan's orphanage. She played the role of the orphan July from '78-'79, but she was also the understudy for Annie. After taking a yearlong break from the show, she returned to don the iconic red wig full-time. With two leading Broadway roles by age 15, Parker surely wasn't living the hard-knock life.
To Gillian on her 37th Birthday
Parker seems to keep making stage debuts in ghost stories: She made her Off-Broadway debut in To Gillian on her 37th Birthday. The play follows a father who grieves for his deceased wife, who he believes he can communicate with as a ghost, and neglects his daughter, Rachel (Parker), in the process. From optimistic to struggling to clairvoyant characters, Parker had already proved her range by her third New York stage outing.
The Heidi Chronicles
One of Parker's better-known Off-Broadway roles was in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Heidi Chronicles. She actually played three small parts: Becky, Clara, and Denise. The show transferred to Broadway after the Playwrights Horizons production, but Parker didn't transfer with it. Guess who took over her roles? Parker's future Sex and the City co-star Cynthia Nixon!
The Substance of Fire
Parker technically performed in The Substance of Fire twice: during its Playwrights Horizons premiere and when the play transferred to the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. She played Sarah Geldhart, the wife of fictional Holocaust survivor Isaac Geldhart, who reinvents himself as a book publisher. She and her co-star Ron Rifkin (Isaac) both reprised their roles when The Substance of Fire received a film adaptation.
You get one guess at the name of Parker's character in this show. Though we won't make you guess who Sylvia is, the answer might surprise you. The titular character of Sylvia is a dog, who gets adopted by a couple played by Blythe Danner and Charles Kimbrough when Parker starred in the show. Twenty years after its 1995 Off-Broadway premiere, Sylvia went to Broadway. Parker wasn't in the cast, but her then-fiancé, Matthew Broderick, was!
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Speaking of Broderick, the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was the first show in which he and Parker starred together. She was a replacement for the role of Rosemary Pilkington, secretary and future wife of Broderick's J. Pierrepont Finch. Actually, by the time she assumed the role, Broderick had left the show, but he returned just so he could star opposite Parker.
Once Upon a Mattress
Once Upon a Mattress marked Parker's first Broadway leading role since Annie. She played Princess Winnifred in this musical comedy adaptation of The Princess and the Pea. The bold and brash Winnifred is the total opposite of the chic, sophisticated Carrie Bradshaw she'd become known for a year later. Then again, between Winnifred and Carrie (not to mention all her other roles), Parker has cemented herself as real-life stage and screen royalty.
Wonder of the World and The Commons of Pensacola
After her star turn in Once Upon a Mattress, Parker didn't have much time for stage projects. She was still in New York, but she was busy filming a little TV show called Sex and the City. In 2001, though, she found time to return to New York City Center to star as Cass Harris in Wonder of the World, in which her character leaves her husband to go find herself.
She'd later return to the City Center one more time, for 2013's The Commons of Pensacola. She and Danner shared the stage again as daughter Becca and mother Judith, respectively. This was the last time Parker took the New York stage, until...
Now, Parker makes her long-awaited return to Broadway in Plaza Suite. She once again stars opposite Broderick as not only one couple, but three in Neil Simon's farce. After the pair did the show in Boston, it didn't take long for Broadway buzz to begin — but the run planned for 2020 got postponed due to Covid-19. Now, she and Broderick are finally checking into the Hudson Theatre for Plaza Suite on Broadway. But the show hasn't booked an extended stay — it's only there through July 10. Make your reservations now!
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