Zach Braff will make his Broadway debut alongside stage vets Brooks Ashmanskas, Vincent Pastore, Betsy Wolfe, Lenny Wolpe and Helene Yorke in the world premiere production of Bullets Over Broadway, the musical adaptation of Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath’s 1994 film. The show begins previews on March 11, 2014, with official opening night set for April 10 at the St. James Theatre.
Bullets Over Broadway tells the story of an aspiring playwright (Braff) in 1920s New York who is forced to cast a mobster’s (Pastore) talentless girlfriend (Yorke) in his new show in order to have it produced on Broadway.
Braff plays David Shayne, the role played onscreen by John Cusack; Ashmanskas will play Warner Purcell, the show's leading man (played in the film by Jim Broadbent). Pastore plays mobster Nick Valenti (played onscreen by Joe Viterelli), with Wolfe as David's suffering partner Ellen (played onscreen by Mary-Louise Parker), Wolpe as shady producer Julian Marx (played onscreen by Jack Warden) and Yorke as the massively untalented Olive Neal (played onscreen by Jennifer Tilly). Additional casting, including the pivotal role played onscreen by Dianne Wiest, for the 29-person company will be announced later.
Braff (who made his film debut in Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery) will make his Broadway debut in Bullets. Braff is known to audiences for his long-running TV show Scrubs, as well as films like Garden State, Chicken Little, Oz the Great and Powerful and his upcoming Kickstarter-funded movie Wish I Was Here. He appeared at off-Broadway's Second Stage in Trust (and his All New People was produced there). His other New York stage credits include Shakespeare in the Park's Twelfth Night and Macbeth at the Public Theater.
Tony nominee Brooks Ashmanskas most recently appeared on Broadway in Promises, Promises, Present Laughter, The Ritz and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me; The Sopranos star Pastore made his Broadway debut in 2007 as Billy Flynn in Chicago; Wolfe recently starred in the off-Broadway revival of The Last Five Years and the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Wolpe last appeared on the Great White Way in the original Broadway cast of The Drowsy Chaperone; Yorke starred as Marty in the 2007 Broadway revival of Grease.
As previously announced, the show will feature a stage adaptation by Woody Allen and a score that features existing music of the period. Five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman will direct and choreograph, alongside a design team that includes Tony winners Santo Loquasto (scenic design), William Ivey Long (costume design), Donald Holder (lighting design) and Doug Besterman (orchestrations), as well as Glen Kelly (musical arrangements/supervision) and Peter Hylenski (sound design).