Thursday, February 5, 2015

Silver Screen Talent Who Made the Jump to Broadway

Center Stage
Universal Studios is turning films like "Animal House" and "Back to the Future" into Broadway musicals, even while stage productions like “Rock of Ages” and "Wicked" are moving to the big screen. You already know that these productions mean big business, but what about the talent behind the scenes? Hollywood’s biggest directors and stars are making their Broadway debuts or keeping a foot in both industries.

Mike Nichols

Best known for directing the Oscar-winning film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "The Graduate," Mike Nichols took the stage to direct "Barefoot in the Park" and "Death of a Salesman." He has worked successfully in both areas and is one of the few directors to have won an Oscar, Emmy and Tony.

Jennifer Hudson

The American Idol 6th runner up has carved out a name for herself as a Grammy-award winner for her 2008 debut album. She landed the role of Effie White in the film adaptation of "Dreamgirls" and won both a Golden Globe and Oscar for her talents. She then went on to act in blockbusters like "Sex in the City" and "The Secret Life of Bees." In 2015, Hudson makes her Broadway debut as Shug Avery in "The Color Purple." She received the role after producer Oprah Winfrey heard her sing "I'm Here" from the production at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone

"South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker took their controversial cable cartoon to the big screen with "South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut" and later directed the movie "Team America: World Police." Even with their television and movie successes, most people would never have expected Stone and Parker to become Tony-award winning Broadway directors. However, their original play “The Book of Mormon" grossed $19 million dollars a month in 2013 alone. The duo also launched a $300 million production company to take their Broadway play to the big screen.

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor made a name for herself in theater after designing puppets and directing “Juan Darien.” The success landed her on the set of “The Lion King” where she directed and designed lavish puppets and sets and even contributed lyrics. Today, her body of work includes lavish films like "Titus," "Frida" and "Across the Universe." She returned to Broadway to work on a musical adaptation of “Spider-Man” with Bono and The Edge from the band U2.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks holds a long list of film credits, including "Forrest Gump," "The Green Mile," "Cast Away" and "Catch Me If You Can." He also worked with writer and film director Nora Ephron on several movies like "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You’ve Got Mail." In 2013, Tom Hanks made his Broadway debut with Nora Ephron’s play “Lucky Guy,” playing the late Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Mike McAlary. Although Hanks hasn’t returned to the stage since he finished this play, he continues to act in films like the upcoming "Inferno."