As we ring in the New Year, let’s look ahead to the exciting new crop of performers making their Broadway debuts. These newbies are not unknowns: they are silver screen stars, obsessed-over TV icons and West End matinee idols; nevertheless, they will all be doing something brand new when they step onto a Broadway stage. So let’s give a warm welcome to the fresh talent heading to the Great White Way in 2014 with this list of our five most-anticipated Broadway debuts.
1. Bryan Cranston in All the Way
Cranston riveted the nation in 2013 with the final season of TV’s Breaking Bad, the critically acclaimed, addictive series about mayhem and meth. Now that the actor has left Breaking Bad’s egomaniacal Walter White behind, he’s ready to make his Broadway debut as deal-making POTUS Lyndon Baines Johnson taking the reins at the White House after the assassination of JFK.
2. Michelle Williams in Cabaret
This luminous Oscar nominee is known for her versatility, onscreen vulnerability and red carpet panache, which should only enhance her take on the juicy role of Sally Bowles in this revived revival of the Kander and Ebb classic. With her fearlessness and star power, we have a feeling Williams will be perfectly marvelous as a struggling chanteuse in ‘30s Berlin.
3. Ramin Karimloo in Les Miserables
We can only assume you’ve been obsessing over this handsome leading man on your trips abroad (for Phantom, Les Miz or Love Never Dies) or your everyday YouTube spiral. And why not? He’s got amazing pipes, sings like a dream and makes hearts melt all over the globe. We’re pretty sure our lucky number in 2014 will be 24601.
4. James Franco in Of Mice and Men
Franco may be the ultimate multi-hyphenate, with a resume that spans writing, directing, teaching, painting, Oscar ceremony hosting and more. Call him a renaissance hipster, if you will, but you have to hand it to Franco for keeping things interesting. We can’t wait to see what he does as the quick-witted George in Of Mice and Men. Yes, tell us about the rabbits, James.
5. Zach Braff in Bullets Over Broadway
The Scrubs Emmy nominee can sing, act, photobomb and kickstart with aplomb, so we’re really looking forward to seeing his Broadway debut in Woody Allen’s Prohibition-era musical about a nebbishy playwright forced to put a mobster’s talent-free girlfriend in his play. With a killer cast to back him, we have three words for Braff: Charmed, charmed, charmed!