It’s not unusual for real-life couples to co-star on stage and screen, but this fall, family togetherness has become an epidemic on and off Broadway. Four current or forthcoming productions feature actors who go home together after the show, and a fifth will star a real-life mother and daughter. Meanwhile, Condola Rashad and her mom, Phylicia, are headlining the Lifetime TV movie Steel Magnolias, and Joshua Johnston is directing his mom, Patti LuPone, in a web reality series. Apparently the families that play together stay together!
Boyd Gaines and Kathleen McNenny in An Enemy of the People
Real-Life Family Tie: Four-time Tony winner Gaines met McNenny when they played lovers in a 1992 Central Park production of The Comedy of Errors. They married soon afterward and are the parents of a 14-year-old daughter, Leslie.
On-Stage Relationship: Married couple Peter and Catherine Stockmann: He’s an idealistic doctor determined to blow the whistle on toxic spa waters in his coastal Norwegian town; she’s his practical wife, who can envision the effect his outspokenness will have on their family.
Where to See Them: Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, through November 11.
Michael Shannon and Kate Arrington in Grace
Real-Life Family Tie: Shannon and Arrington met in the small world of Chicago theater and now live in Brooklyn with their four-year-old daughter, Sylvie. She saw him in the 2006 Chicago production of Grace, but the Broadway mounting marks the first time they've acted together in a play.
On-Stage Relationship: Neighbors in a Florida condo complex: He’s a rocket scientist living in grief after a horrific car accident; she’s an evangelical Christian in an uneasy marriage to a developer of Gospel-theme hotels (Paul Rudd).
Where to See Them: Broadway’s Cort Theatre, through January 6.
Byron Jennings and Carolyn McCormick in Ten Chimneys
Real-Life Family Tie: McCormick and Jennings met when they co-starred in a 1983 San Francisco production of Arms and the Man and got together four years later. The spouses have now worked together on stage more than 16 times and are the parents of two sons, ages 13 and 16.
On-Stage Relationship: Married stage stars Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne: The play explores the drama behind a 1938 production of The Seagull in rehearsal at the Lunts’ summer home in Wisconsin.
Where to See Them: Off-Broadway at Theatre at St. Clement’s, through October 27.
Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders in Sorry
Real-Life Family Tie: These theater stalwarts have been married since 1991 and are the parents of an 18-year-old son, Jamie. Plunkett and Sanders co-starred in a 1993 Broadway revival of Saint Joan, six years after she won a Tony for Me and My Girl.
On-Stage Relationship: Brother and sister Richard and Barbara Apple: He’s a New York City lawyer, she’s a teacher caring for their uncle in Rhinebeck, NY. The couple are reprising their roles in the third topical play by Richard Nelson centering on the Apple family (after That Hopey Changey Thing and Sweet and Sad).
Where to See Them: Off-Broadway’s Public Theater, beginning October 30 and opening on November 6, the day the play is set.
Laurie Metcalf and Zoe Perry in The Other Place
Real-Life Family Tie: Perry is Metcalf’s oldest child, born in 1984 when she was married to fellow Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble member Jeff Perry.
On-Stage Relationship: Mother and daughter Juliana and Laurel Smithton: In a play that blurs fact and fiction, Metcalf is a brilliant scientist; Perry is the daughter who returns after having eloped with an older man.
Where to See Them: Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, beginning December 11.