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Exclusive: The cast of Broadway’s ‘It’s Only a Play’ reenacts Ellen’s Oscar selfie

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Imagine if Jennifer Lawrence were Rupert Grint.

Okay, now take that one step further and replace Ellen DeGeneres with Matthew Broderick, Bradley Cooper with Nathan Lane, Angelina Jolie with Megan Mullally, Meryl Streep with Stockard Channing, and so on and so forth. See what we’re getting at?

Ellen’s epic Oscar selfie gets sent up, Broadway style, in the first look at the upcoming comedyIt’s Only a Play. The production examines the frantic behind-the-scenes antics of a new Broadway show and the eccentric creative and business types behind it. The link to Ellen’s selfie is directly inspired by a moment in the revised script by Terrence McNally, who has refreshed the play for the 2014 audience.

Given the starry cast (not to mention the reunion of The Producers pair Lane and Broderick), expect It’s Only a Play to be one of this fall’s hottest tickets. F. Murray Abraham and newcomer Micah Stock round out the cast of the Jack O’Brien-directed Broadway play, which will open on October 9 for a limited 18-week engagement at the Schoenfeld Theatre. Previews begin August 28.

(Source: popwatch.ew.com)

Stellar 'It's Only a Play' cast welcomes Rupert Grint to Broadway

NEW YORK Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:27pm EDT

(Reuters) - British actor Rupert Grint, best known as wizard Ron Weasley in the “Harry Potter” film franchise, makes his Broadway debut as a young, wunderkind director alongside a stellar ensemble cast in the show business comedy, “It’s Only a Play.”

The play, which begins previews on Aug. 28 and opens for a limited run on Oct. 9, sports a notable cast headed by Tony winners Nathan Lane (“The Producers”), Matthew Broderick (“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”) and Stockard Channing (“A Day in the Life of Joe Egg”).

F. Murray Abraham, who picked up a best actor Oscar for “Amadeus,” plays an infamous drama critic named Ira Drew and Emmy winner Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) is Broadway producer Julia Budder.

"It’s hard not to be overwhelmed when we’re rehearsing," Grint, 25, said about his cast mates. "It’s quite exhausting trying to keep up with them."

The fly-on-the-wall comedy is set at an opening night party of a new play, “The Golden Egg,” as its director Frank Finger (Grint) and the playwright, cast, producer and friends await reviews to see if it’s a hit.

"He’s a very complicated, deeply troubled man. So it’s something I’ve always wanted to try," said Grint, who admitted it was scary leaving the bumbling Ron Weasley character he portrayed in the "Harry Potter" films for so long.

Broderick is writer Peter Austin, whose career hangs on the success of his play. Channing plays his erratic leading lady, Virginia Noyes, and newcomer Micah Stock portrays a coat check attendant newly arrived in New York.

"It’s very true to life," said Lane, who plays a television star and Broderick’s best friend James Wicker.

"I’ve been through this many times, and it’s endlessly fascinating to be, I hope for the audience, to be a fly on the wall in the midst of the event of waiting for the New York Times review, which is the centerpiece of the play," added the Broadway veteran, who has been through his fair share of opening nights.

"He thinks, of course, it is going to be a rave. He’s been told it’s going to be a rave and then it’s not. It’s the most devastating and hilariously funny review you could ever get."

Multiple Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally (“Ragtime,” “Master Class”) did a substantial rewrite of the 1986 play, inserting contemporary references to update it.

"It’s Only a Play" reunites Lane and Broderick, who worked together on hit musical "The Producers" and other shows. It also brings Abraham full circle with McNally, who cast him in a play decades ago early in his career.

McNally said he has been working on “It’s Only a Play” all of his life and it has had many manifestations. He got the idea for the comedy on the opening night of another play that starred Abraham.

"This is the right group to do this play at this time," he said.

(Editing by Eric Kelsey. Editing by Andre Grenon)

It’s Only a Play’s Rupert Grint on His ‘Intimidating’ Co-Stars, Rooting For the Yankees & Why Wizards Want to Be on Broadway

By Lindsay Champion August 19, 2014 - 6:01PM

This fall, Rupert Grint is moving from Hogwarts to the Great White Way. TheHarry Potter favorite will make his Broadway debut in It’s Only a Play, a revamped revival of Terrence McNally’s 1986 off-Broadway comedy. Grint will play Frank Finger, the angsty young director of a play by a nervous playwright (played by Matthew Broderick) who is worried his new project will make or break his career. But Grint and Broderick aren’t the only heavy hitters in this new mounting—the comedy also stars Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally,Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham and newcomer Micah Stock. Broadway.com caught up with Grint to chat about the Yankees, wizards, and of course, musicals.

You’re in a cast with Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and all of these hilarious Broadway pros. Is that intimidating?
It’s really intimidating, yeah. Just to keep up with them has become my main objective. They’re just so funny and they’re so experienced. They really know what they’re doing. It’s amazing to me to watch that. I’ve learned so much just being in the room with them.

Who cracks you up the most in rehearsal?
Oh, Nathan is quite a force. He’s hilarious, and Murray as well. I’m just so lucky to be surrounded by these people.

Tell me about this guy you’re playing, Frank Finger.
It’s a type of character that I’ve never had the chance to play before—he’s someone very complicated and deeply troubled. That’s really what attracted me to him. The play is amazing, it’s so funny and such an interesting insight into the theater world from behind the scenes.

You starred in Mojo in the West End. Did you pick up any tips you want to remember for this time?
That was different because it was my first ever taste of theater in any form, really. Before that it was just school plays and pantomimes, so it was a big learning experience. [Mojo and It’s Only a Play] are very different shows. But I find keeping the concentration quite hard, just being in character for so long. I’m used to dipping in and out. On a film set you’re in character just for a few seconds, then you walk away. So with this, you have to be in the moment for the whole two hours, so it’s hard, but it’s great fun.

Is this your first time living in New York?
Yes, and I love New York. I’ve only ever been here for like two weeks at a time, so I never really got to know the place, but I’m loving it. It’s such a great place. I went to a Yankee game the other day.

Were you rooting for the home team?
Yeah, definitely!

Did they win?
No, they didn’t, they lost quite heavily. [Laughs.] But yeah, it’s great. We’re quite busy rehearsing, but it’s great to be here.

Can you sing at all? Would you ever want to do a musical?
Hmm, I don’t think I could do that. I released a song recently, I did an animation [Postman Pat: The Movie] and it’s on an album now, so I can kind of sing, but not like that. That’s on a totally different level. I just saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch and that was amazing. I couldn’t do a musical, but it looks fun!

The Harry Potter wizards are all getting on the Broadway train—you, Daniel Radcliffe, and now Tom Felton wants to. Why do you think that is?
New York just feels like the place to be. I’ve seen some amazing shows here, and there’s such an incredible energy to the city. It’s so exciting, even just walking down the streets. The West End is great as well, I love that, but New York City a really special place.

See Grint in It’s Only a Play beginning August 28 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.

Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick Push 'It's Only A Play' To An $8M Broadway Opening

August 19, 2014 1:15pm

EXCLUSIVE: Terrence McNally’s onstage, backstage, offstage comedy It’s Only A Play will begin performances September 28 on Broadway with about $8 million in the bank, producer Tom Kirdahy told Deadline today. Chalk up the strong advance for the $3.5 million show to one of the starriest marquees in memory, with someone on the bill for every theatergoer.

Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane — the killer duo who made Broadway history with The Producers in 2001 — star as a playwright and his bitchy best friend. Megan Mullally is the freshman producer, Stockard Channing the swanning diva and F. Murray Abraham the dyspeptic (is there any other kind?) critic. Broadway newcomer and August 24th birthday boy Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley of the Harry Potter movie franchise) is Frank Finger, the director of the play-within-the-play. Last year he appeared in Jez Butterworth’sMojo on the West End. McNally’s director is the great Jack O’Brien (Hairspray, The Coast Of Utopia, most recently, Much Ado About Nothing in Central Park). It’s at the Shubert-owned Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

The comedy dates from the 1970s, had its off-off-Broadway debut in 1982 and then a Manhattan Theatre Club production in 1985 that starred Paul Benedict as the writer; the late, legendary Jimmy Coco as the friend and Christine Baranski as the producer. A 1992 Mark Taper Forum production in L.A. starred Benedict with Charles Nelson Reilly, Eileen Brennan and a very young David Hyde Pierce.

Kirdahy, who is McNally’s husband, is producing with Roy Furman and Ken Davenport. McNally spent much of the last several months commuting between Williamstown, MA — where his book for the Kander-and-Ebb musical The Visit was just presented — and his desk, updating the It’s Only A Play script to the present tense.

“I would almost call it an overhaul,” Kirdahy told me. “One character is gone. It’s very much of the moment in the digital age. People get information on their smart phones, there are chat rooms, costumes from current shows. But the bones are very much there.” Michael Riedel recently noted in the N.Y. Post that among the updates are references to Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots), Times critic Ben Brantley, and, of course, Michael Riedel.

I asked if there’d been any diva behavior during rehearsals so far. “Everyone’s playing well with the others,” Kirdahy said.

“People can smell a stunt, and this isn’t stunt casting,” he added. “This is Nathan and F. Murray’s sixth McNally play, and they’re all actors who hear Terrence’s music. It’s hilarious — but they’re all taking it dead seriously.”

Stellar 'It's Only a Play' cast welcomes Rupert Grint to Broadway

Source: Reuters - Tue, 19 Aug 2014 20:43 GMT

Author: Reuters

By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - British actor Rupert Grint, best known as wizard Ron Weasley in the “Harry Potter” film franchise, makes his Broadway debut as a young, wunderkind director alongside a stellar ensemble cast in the show business comedy, “It’s Only a Play.”

The play, which begins previews on Aug. 28 and opens for a limited run on Oct. 9, sports a notable cast headed by Tony winners Nathan Lane (“The Producers”), Matthew Broderick (“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”) and Stockard Channing (“A Day in the Life of Joe Egg”).

F. Murray Abraham, who picked up a best actor Oscar for “Amadeus,” plays an infamous drama critic named Ira Drew and Emmy winner Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) is Broadway producer Julia Budder.

"It’s hard not to be overwhelmed when we’re rehearsing," Grint, 25, said about his cast mates. "It’s quite exhausting trying to keep up with them."

The fly-on-the-wall comedy is set at an opening night party of a new play, “The Golden Egg,” as its director Frank Finger (Grint) and the playwright, cast, producer and friends await reviews to see if it’s a hit.

"He’s a very complicated, deeply troubled man. So it’s something I’ve always wanted to try," said Grint, who admitted it was scary leaving the bumbling Ron Weasley character he portrayed in the "Harry Potter" films for so long.

Broderick is writer Peter Austin, whose career hangs on the success of his play. Channing plays his erratic leading lady, Virginia Noyes, and newcomer Micah Stock portrays a coat check attendant newly arrived in New York.

"It’s very true to life," said Lane, who plays a television star and Broderick’s best friend James Wicker.

"I’ve been through this many times, and it’s endlessly fascinating to be, I hope for the audience, to be a fly on the wall in the midst of the event of waiting for the New York Times review, which is the centerpiece of the play," added the Broadway veteran, who has been through his fair share of opening nights.

"He thinks, of course, it is going to be a rave. He’s been told it’s going to be a rave and then it’s not. It’s the most devastating and hilariously funny review you could ever get."

Multiple Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally (“Ragtime,” “Master Class”) did a substantial rewrite of the 1986 play, inserting contemporary references to update it.

"It’s Only a Play" reunites Lane and Broderick, who worked together on hit musical "The Producers" and other shows. It also brings Abraham full circle with McNally, who cast him in a play decades ago early in his career.

McNally said he has been working on “It’s Only a Play” all of his life and it has had many manifestations. He got the idea for the comedy on the opening night of another play that starred Abraham.

"This is the right group to do this play at this time," he said. (Editing by Eric Kelsey. Editing by Andre Grenon)

BWW TV: What a Cast! Meet the Company of Broadway-Bound IT’S ONLY A PLAY (TV Content)

The cast of the star-studded Broadway production of the backstage comedy It’s Only A Play, by 4-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally, including F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, and Micah Stock, just met the press this morning. BroadwayWorld’s Richard Ridge was on hand to chat with the whole gang and you can check out what they had to say about the play below!

(Source: broadwayworld.com)

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