9 Hollywood Stars to See on Broadway This Summer

by ETonline Staff 7:05 AM PDT, June 01, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

By now, it's not surprising to see Hollywood's biggest stars step out from behind the lens for a stint on Broadway. This year is no different -- 2015 kicked off with an impressive mix of actors, including Sienna Miller's surprisingly realistic take on Cabaret and Bradley Cooper's Tony-nominated performance inThe Elephant Man. Both set the bar high for their big screen peers who will be hitting the Great White Way soon.

TONY AWARDS 2015: And the Nominees Are...

This season's offerings include several Tony nominees (Helen Mirren and Ken Watanabe), one of TV's biggest stars (Jim Parsons -- as God, no less!), and Taye Diggs' return to the stage. Take a look at these nine stars worth the price of admission on Broadway this summer.

Photo: Miramax

1. Brandy, Chicago

Sure, it might seem kitschy to see Brandy as Roxy Hart in Chicago, but the stage performance is such a hit that it's hard not to be wooed into attending. The singer-actress gives Roxy a new swagger that offers repeat offenders something new to chew on.

2. Carey Mulligan, Skylight

Mulligan and Bill Nighy -- both nominated for Tony awards -- do a stellar job of putting on this London show for an American audience. While the jokes don't always land in the same way, the emotion does in large part to the two actors' strong performances.

3. Helen Mirren, The Audience

Mirren once again reprises her role as Queen Elizabeth II, and while she might be getting a little old to play some of the Queen's younger versions, it's still quite a performance to behold. If you're lucky, you may even bump into the Dame on the subway!

Photo: PR Photos

4. Jim Parsons, An Act of God

Jim Parsons (delightfully) makes a mockery of himself -- and some of Hollywood's biggest stars -- in this one-man show that tells God's story. It's not often that fans get to see the actor shed Sheldon's cold exterior for a brief tenure as the Almighty himself.

5. Ken Watanabe, The King and I

Ken Watanabe makes his American stage debut as the sexy and bewildered king in the latest production of The King and I. The show itself is a sight to be seen with lavish costumes and sets, but like many productions, it's grounded in the acting. Both Watanabe and Kelli O'Hara work hard to make lasting impressions in their roles.

6. Peter Gallagher, On the Twentieth Century

The show's biggest star is undoubtedly Kristin Chenoweth, who earned a Tony nomination for her performance in this highly celebrated musical. However, don't ignore Gallagher, who we still love from his bushy eyebrow days as Sandy Cohen on The O.C. This show is unstoppable!

Photo: Getty Images

7. Stockard Channing, It’s Only a Play

Quick, this one is closing on June 7, but it's worth mentioning for the fun, camp performance by the show's star-studded cast, including Channing, who easily gets the biggest applause from the slap-happy crowd.

8. Taye Diggs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

While we're impressed that Glee star Darren Criss has put on the wig for a turn as the titular East German transgender rocker, we're especially excited for Taye Diggs' return to Broadway, where he first garnered notice in Rent. He'll take the stage as Broadway's first African-American Hedwig starting July 22.

9. Vanessa Hudgens, Gigi

Hudgens earns your applause in this crowd-pleasing romantic musical about a young woman's journey to find herself and love. Come for the High School Musical star's impressive live performance, stay for the dancing and get swept up by the romance.

Watch how she prepared for the role below.