Michael Shannon plays a man attempting to track down a serial killer in Eugene Ionesco's rarely seen dark comedy, The Killer, directed by Darko Tresnjak, a Tony winner this year for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. THR's review applauds the Boardwalk Empire actor, saying, "Shannon delivers a consistently compelling performance marked by doses of antic humor."
'The Village Bike'
Greta Gerwig makes her stage debut in The Village Bike, replacing Maggie Gyllenhaal (who was cast in the fall Broadway revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing) in the off-Broadway production that opened June 10.
'Much Ado About Nothing'
Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater play the marriage-phobic Beatrice and Benedick in director Jack O'Brien's al fresco staging of one of William Shakespeare's most popular romantic comedies, Much Ado About Nothing. (Rabe even opted out of a role in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 to be part of this production.) THR's review notes that any magical chemistry "remains stubbornly elusive for much of their stage time," but adds that both performances improve once the characters are forced to acknowledge their hidden feelings.
'When We Were Young and Unafraid'
Zoe Kazanjoins the cast of When We Were Young and Unafraid, alongside Cherry Jones, Cherise Boothe, Patch Darragh and Morgan Saylor, the young Homeland regular making her stage debut. THR's review praised the cast of Pam MacKinnon's off-Broadway production but was less convinced by the play, written by Sarah Treem (House of Cards), which is set against the rise of the feminist movement in the early 1970s in a quiet bed-and-breakfast that doubles as an underground shelter for abused women.
'The Long Shrift'
James Franco directs the off-Broadway production of Robert Boswell's The Long Shrift, opening July 13. The drama — featuring Scott Haze, Ahna O'Reilly, Brian Lally, Allie Gallerani and Ally Sheedy — concerns a man accused of rape as a teenager who is released from prison nine years later, when he finds his accuser suddenly back in his life.
'Sex With Strangers'
Anna Gunnstars in the off-Broadway production of Sex With Strangers, which officially opens July 30. The Breaking Bad actress plays opposite Tony Award nominee Billy Magnussen in the Second Stage production of Laura Eason's drama, directed by David Schwimmer.
Julia Stilesreturns to the New York stage after five years, starring off-Broadway in director Jennifer DeLia's production of Scott Organ's dark romantic comedy, Phoenix. Stiles and James Wirt play a mismatched couple who meet again four weeks after a one-night stand. She had a good time but prefers to close the door on the possibility of a future relationship with him, while he feels compelled to follow her 4,000 miles to the title destination. The show opens Aug. 7.
'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'
Andrew RannellssucceedsNeil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch in the high-heeled title role for which Harris won a Tony. The Tony nominee for The Book of Mormon, also of HBO's Girls and NBC's short-lived The New Normal, will don the wigs beginning Aug. 20.
'This Is Our Youth'
Michael Ceramakes his Broadway debut in the revival of Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth, which has been a magnet for top talent since it was first produced in 1996. Cera stars opposite Kieran Culkin and fashion media darling Tavi Gevinson in this Scott Rudin production directed by Anna D. Shapiro, which officially opens Sept. 11 in New York after a summer tryout in Chicago.
'You Can't Take It With You'
Rose Byrne makes her Broadway debut in the revival of You Can't Take It With You, the 1936 classic by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart about a family of Manhattan eccentrics. She stars opposite James Earl Jones, Tony nominee Kristine Nielsen and Annaleigh Ashford (Masters of Sex, Kinky Boots) in the production, officially opening Sept. 28.
'Sticks and Bones' and 'The Spoils'
Holly Hunter and Bill Pullmanstar in the first New York revival of David Rabe's Tony-winning 1971 play Sticks and Bones, a savage comedy that parodies the idealized American sitcom family through the story of a blind Vietnam vet's return home to his folks and their struggle to understand him. And set for the spring is The Spoils, written by and starring Jesse Eisenberg as a self-loathing bully who is living off his parents after being kicked out of grad school. When he discovers that his school crush is marrying a banker, he sets out to sabotage their relationship and win her back. New Group artistic director Scott Elliott will stage both productions, set for October and May, respectively.
'The Country House'
Blythe DannerheadlinesThe Country House, the Chekhov-inspired comedy from Pulitzer winner Donald Margulies. Officially opening Oct. 2, the production follows a weekend of romance, jealousy and soul-searching at a Berkshires summer house during the Williamstown Theatre Festival, with Danner playing the matriarch of a family of creative artists who have found varying degrees of fame.
'It's Only a Play'
Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham and Megan Mullallystar in an updated version of the the 1986 theater-biz comedy by Terrence McNally. Jack O'Brien directs the revival, which officially opens Oct. 9.
'It's Only a Play'
Making his Broadway debut in It's Only a Play is Rupert Grint, as acclaimed young theater director Frank Finger. The 1986 comedy is set at a neophyte Broadway producer's Manhattan townhouse during the opening-night party for a nervous playwright's latest work. Broderick stars as the writer, with Lane as his backbiting best friend, a resentful television actor secretly rooting for him to fail.
Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama jumps to Broadway with How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor, as well as Hari Dhillon, Gretchen Mol and Karen Pittman. The one-act play — which explores with insight and wit issues of faith, race, identity and social politics in a climate conditioned by fear of terrorism and radical Islam — officially opens Oct. 23.
'The Last Ship'
The Last Ship, the first musical composed by Sting, hits Broadway with an Oct. 26 official opening. The show is set in Sting's hometown of Wallsend, Northumberland, depicting a tight-knit community held together by the economic engine and professional pride of the local shipbuilding industry. But when the story's wandering protagonist returns home after 14 years abroad, he finds the shipyard's future in jeopardy and his youthful picture of the place irrevocably changed.
'The Real Thing'
Cynthia Nixonreturns to The Real Thing opposite Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal — both of whom are making their Broadway debuts when the show officially opens Oct. 30. It marks her second appearance in a major Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's moving reflection on love, marriage and infidelity, as Nixon was featured in the ensemble of the original 1984 Mike Nichols-directed Broadway run, which starred Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons and Christine Baranski.
'Lips Together, Teeth Apart'
Second Stage Theatre's upcoming revival of Terrence McNally'sLips Together, Teeth Apartstars America Ferrera,as well and Michael Chernus and Tracee Chimo of Orange Is the New Black. Peter DuBois' off-Broadway staging officially opens Nov. 5.
Indie film favorite John Hawkesmakes his New York stage debut opposite Tracie Thoms in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Lost Lake, the new play from Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof dramatist David Auburn. Daniel Sullivan, who previously collaborated with Auburn and MTC on Proof and The Columnist, will direct the off-Broadway production, which opens Nov. 11.
Hugh Jackmanreturns to Broadway in British dramatist Jez Butterworth's The River, officially opening Nov. 16. Opposite Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo, Jackman plays a reclusive fisherman living in a remote cabin on the cliffs high above a river who takes a woman trout-fishing on a moonless night. Her disappearance sparks a mystery, making way for the arrival of another woman and suggesting that the fisherman is trying to recapture something from his lost past.
'A Delicate Balance'
Glenn Closereturns to Broadway after 20 years in A Delicate Balance, opposite John Lithgow, Lindsay Duncan, Bob Balaban, Clare Higgins and Martha Plimpton. The revival of Edward Albee's 1966 caustic dark comedy of existential fear and loss, directed by Pam MacKinnon, officially opens Nov. 20.
'The Elephant Man'
Bradley Cooper and Patricia ClarksonheadlineThe Elephant Man, the classic tale of a disfigured man who went from a Victorian London freak show to English high society. The Broadway production, also featuring American Hustle's Alessandro Nivola and Queer as Folk's Scott Lowell and officially opening Dec. 7, has Cooper reprising the role he played as part of his senior thesis at the Actors Studio Drama School.
Jake Gyllenhaalmakes his Broadway debut in British playwright Nick Payne's acclaimed experimental drama Constellations, which explores the potential of love, friendship and free will against a background of quantum physics. The play, which opens Jan. 13, reunites Gyllenhaal with director Michael Longhurst and Payne, as the Oscar-nominated actor starred off-Broadway in 2012 in the playwright's If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, earning strong reviews for his New York stage debut.
'Honeymoon in Vegas'
Honeymoon in Vegasstars Tony Danza, Rob McClure and Brynn O'Malley in the Broadway staging of Andrew Bergman's 1992 screen comedy. Directed by Gary Griffin and choreographed by Denis Jones, the show officially opens Jan. 15.
'Hamlet' and 'Doctor Faustus'
Peter Sarsgaard and Chris Nothtest their classical theater chops with lead roles in William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, respectively. The productions are part of the 2014-15 season lineup of off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company, with Hamlet opening in January and Doctor Faustus opening in May.
'On the Twentieth Century'
The long-rumored Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century features Kristin Chenoweth as temperamental Hollywood star Lily Garland, a role made famous by Madeline Kahn. She stars opposite Peter Gallagher, who plays bankrupt theater producer Oscar Jaffe. Traveling from Chicago in the luxury coach of the titular train, Oscar has until it reaches its destination in New York City to convince Lily to star in the nonexistent drama that will reignite their romance and his career. The 1930s-set musical opens March 12, 2015.
'The King And I'
Ken Watanabemakes his American stage debut opposite five-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O'Hara in Bartlett Sher's Broadway revival of the beloved 1951 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, The King and I, officially opening is set for April 16.
Who better to judge the best movies of all time than the people who make them? Studio chiefs, Oscar winners and TV royalty all were surveyed as THR publishes its first definitive entertainment-industry ranking of cinema's most superlative. View gallery