Guide to 'Pictures From Home' on Broadway, starring Nathan Lane, Danny Burstein, and Zoë Wanamaker
Learn more about this starry new show about family secrets and a famed photographer's journey to understand his parents.
Capture the moment! The 2023 Broadway season kicks off with Pictures From Home, a world-premiere play starring Emmy and Tony Award winner Nathan Lane, Tony winner Danny Burstein, and Tony nominee Zoë Wanamaker. Playwright Sharr White returns to Broadway for the first time in 10 years with this family portrait come to life, based on a 1992 photo memoir by photographer Larry Sultan.
Spend a few hours at Sultan's parents' home in sunny Southern California, where he ultimately uncovers cracks in their idyllic facade. Before stepping into this family drama, though, learn more about the show and its picture-perfect trio of stars below.
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What is Pictures From Home about?
Pictures From Home is about famed photographer Larry Sultan, and the show is based on his memoir of the same name. The show follows him as he embarks on his most personal project yet: photographing and interviewing his parents. They live a picture-perfect life in a picture-perfect home in Southern California, but as Sultan digs deeper, he learns that their outward perfection and material success hides darker truths and imperfections about his parents he never knew before.
Where is Pictures From Home playing?
Pictures From Home is at Studio 54, located at 254 West 54th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. The venue was one of the city's most famous nightclubs for nearly 20 years before its conversion into a Broadway theatre. The nonprofit organization Roundabout Theatre Company owns the venue and produces shows there; however, other producers can also rent the space for their shows. Pictures From Home is not a Roundabout production.
How long is Pictures From Home?
Pictures From Home is 2 hours and 10 minutes long, including a 15-minute intermission. This is an average running time; Broadway plays can run anywhere from 90 minutes to over 3 hours.
What days is Pictures From Home playing?
Pictures From Home has yet to release its performance schedule. Most Broadway shows play six days a week, excluding Mondays, with two shows each on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Visit the Pictures From Home page for an up-to-date performance calendar.
When did Pictures From Home premiere?
Pictures From Home premieres on Broadway in January 2023. This production marks Pictures From Home's world premiere, but the show's history really begins when Sultan first embarked on his photography project in the 1980s. Learn more about the history that led up to the Broadway production.
- 1980s: Sultan decides to photograph and interview his parents for a project. His aim is to discover the dark truths that lurk under his family's appealing facade, and blow up the myth of the "perfect" American family at large.
- 1992: The Pictures From Home memoir is published to acclaim.
- 2015: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art shows an exhibition of Sultan's photographs titled "Here and Home," which includes over 200 photographs from five of his projects, including Pictures From Home. White visited the exhibit and became interesting in adapting Sultan's work into a show.
- 2019: New York Stage and Film produces the first reading of Pictures From Home, directed by Daniella Topol. Two more readings follow: at Houston's Alley Theater in 2020 and at Cape Cod Theatre Project in 2021.
- 2023: The first full-fledged production of Pictures From Home comes to Broadway with Danny Burstein, Nathan Lane, and Zoë Wanamaker.
Who wrote Pictures From Home?
Sharr White wrote the Pictures From Home play. The show marks his first Broadway play in 10 years. His other two, The Snow Geese (which also starred Burstein) and The Other Place, went up in 2013. White is also a screenwriter whose credits include Halston, The Affair, Sweetbitter, and Genera+ion.
Pictures From Home characters
Pictures From Home has three main characters: the members of the immediate family the story is about. Each of these characters represent real people. Here's more information about the main characters in Pictures From Home.
- Larry Sultan: A photographer who was active in taking and teaching photography from the 1970s until his death in 2009. His specialty was conceptual photographs of houses, a genre his Pictures From Home project falls into. He embarked on the project during the Reagan era, when the "perfect" nuclear family was king, and he wanted to discover the flaws in such families like his.
- Jean Sultan: Larry's mother. She is a successful realtor, and a photo she asks Sultan to take for her job sparks a rift between them. Sultan's photographs often show her in leisurewear and disco outfits.
- Irving Sultan: Larry's father. He is an executive at a razor company, who is matter-of-fact and defiantly masculine. One of Sultan's photo titles describes him as "looking like Johnny Carson."
Celebrities who have starred in Pictures From Home
The Broadway cast of Pictures From Home may be small, but it's all celebrities. Learn more about the award-winning stage and screen stars leading this play.
- Nathan Lane: Lane is a Tony- and Emmy-winning stage and screen actor with dozens of credits. On stage, he's known for his performances in shows like The Producers and Angels in America, and on screen, for TV series like Only Murders in the Building and Modern Family. He plays Irving Sultan in Pictures From Home.
- Zoë Wanamaker: Wanamaker is a celebrated stage actress on both sides of the pond. She's received a Tony nomination for all four previous Broadway shows she's been in (the last being in 2006), and has received nine Olivier Award nominations, and two wins, for performing on the London stage. She plays Jean Sultan in Pictures From Home.
- Danny Burstein: Burstein is a veteran Broadway actor last seen as Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. He won a Tony Award for that role, and has been nominated for six additional Tonys for Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Follies, and more. He plays Larry Sultan in Pictures From Home.
What awards has Pictures From Home won?
Since Pictures From Home on Broadway is the show's first production, it hasn't won any awards just yet. That could change come the 2023 awards season, as the play will be eligible for Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
Though the show hasn't won awards, the Pictures From Home book received widespread acclaim. A review in The Guardian calls the book "a masterclass in merging images and text," and another review on the blog Photo-Eye reads, "For twenty-five years these images have represented the gold standard not just of family photography, but color documentary work in general."
Major productions of Pictures From Home
The Broadway production of Pictures From Home is the only major production thus far, following initial readings without full staging. If the show is a success, this production could lead to plenty more across the country and even the world.
Fun facts about Pictures From Home
Looking for a few more snapshots of the show? Check out these fun facts about Pictures From Home.
- Pictures From Home on Broadway features lots of actual photographs from Sultan's memoir.
- Most of the text is original, but White pulls some dialogue from Sultan's book and from interviews with his widow.
- Sultan has said of the inspiration behind Pictures From Home, in his own words. "the institution of the family was being used as an inspirational symbol by resurgent conservatives. I wanted to puncture this mythology of the family and to show what happens when we are driven by images of success. And I was willing to use my family to prove a point.”
- The Pictures From Home book features both candid and staged photos, but even the "candid" photos show that his parents' bearing and surroundings are "artfully choreographed, as if reminding us that we are looking at a highly constructed narrative," as a reviewer wrote in The Guardian.
How to get Pictures From Home tickets
With such a starry cast only performing this show for a limited time, tickets are bound to go in a flash. Snap up tickets to Pictures From Home right here on New York Theatre Guide soon.
Get Pictures From Home tickets now.
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