If you’re like most NYC visitors, seeing Hollywood stars on your trip to the City may not be at the top of your priority list. However, you may be surprised to learn that many of your favorite famous actors have starred in Broadway shows in Times Square—and your ticket to a show might be a ticket to seeing a current or future famous actor live on stage! Read on to learn about some of the lesser-known Broadway shows on our favorite celebrities’ resumes:
Meryl Streep in Happy End
Could you imagine seeing Meryl Streep up close and personal on a Broadway stage? Theater enthusiasts got to do just that in 1977 when the iconic star performed in Happy End on Broadway.
Kristen Bell in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
We all know Kristen Bell plays Anna in the Disney musical Frozen. But her musical career started much earlier. In 2001, Bell left school at New York University to star as Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The musical was new at the time and ended up closing after just a couple of weeks—but it did help launch Bell’s career toward becoming a household name!
Anna Kendrick in High Society
The world was introduced to Anna Kendrick’s singing talent in Pitch Perfect—but few know that she had a stage career before she was ever on the big screen. Kendrick played a supporting role in the Broadway show High Society in 1998, when she was just 12 years old!
Diane Keaton in Hair
Diane Keaton’s film career goes on and on—she’s been an actress on screen for almost five decades! But her acting career began on stage—before she was introduced to the big screen, Keaton starred in the original cast of Hair on Broadway in 1968.
Nicole Kidman in The Blue Room
Adapted from a play written in 1900, The Blue Room opened in 1998 in London and moved to Broadway in New York shortly after that same year. Nicole Kidman starred in a lead role in both cities.
Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz
Almost a decade before he starred in the movie version of Les Miserables, Hugh Jackman starred in the Broadway musical The Boy from Oz. The musical ran from 2003 to 2004 and was based on the life of singer and songwriter Peter Allen.
Mark Ruffalo in Awake and Sing
Silver-screen star Mark Ruffalo also has a Broadway past, as he starred in Awake and Sing, a play first written and produced in 1935. Ruffalo starred in the 2006 Broadway revival, which won a Tony award for Best Revival of a Play.
Paul Rudd in The Last Night of Ballyhoo
Paul Rudd has decades of film and television work on his resume—but did you know he also starred in a Broadway show? He starred in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, which ran from 1997 to 1998. The show also included other recognizable stars such as Jessica Hecht, Kelly Bishop, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
Emma Stone in Cabaret
Cabaret, which has been revived at least seven times in its long history, featured young Hollywood actress Emma Stone in its 2014 revival. While Stone may be the most surprising cast member in its history, she’s not the only Hollywood actress to star in the show—she replaced Michelle Williams as the character Sally and was later replaced herself by Sienna Miller.
Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria
Julie Andrews’ voice is known and loved worldwide, so her involvement in a live musical isn’t exactly a surprise. But did you know she performed in a Broadway show in New York City? She starred in the musical Victor/Victoria from 1995 to 1997. When she was unable to take the stage, she was succeeded by the very talented Liza Minnelli, followed by Raquel Welch.
Ariana Grande in 13, A New Musical
At only 25 years old, Ariana Grande has already been in the public eye for more than a decade and has accomplished an impressive career in both singing and acting. But not many know that the beginning of that career happened on Broadway—in a 2008 musical called 13.
Take a trip to Broadway, and you might see one of your favorite actors live (Annette Bening in All My Sons, Bryan Cranston in Network, Jeff Daniels in To Kill a Mockingbird, Kerri Russell in Burn This, and Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in Hillary and Clinton are all current performances) or you might discover the next great talent and be able to say “I saw them before they were famous!” Click here to browse some of the best Broadway shows that are available now—and what stars are in them—and buy Broadway tickets online for your next NYC visit!