It appears the ubiquitous, multi-hyphenate James Franco – actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher and author – has not done everything. He will make his Broadway debut in John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” Co-starring and also making his Broadway debut is Irish actor/comedian Chris O’Dowd.
The production will be directed by Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro. According to the press release, “Of Mice and Men” has not been seen on Broadway in 40 years.
Performances will begin March 19, 2014 and officially opens April 16, 2014 at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street, NYC). Tickets go on sale beginning January 11, 2014. This is a strictly limited engagement through July 27, 2014.
Franco began his career on the cult television program “Freaks and Geeks” and received a Golden Globe Award for playing the title character in the TV biographical film “James Dean.”
Film credits include “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “Spring Breakers,” “Harry Osborn” in the Spider-Man trilogy, “Milk” and “127 Hours,” for which he received an Academy Award, SAG and Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.
Chris O’Dowd (Lennie) was most recently seen in “The Sapphires”and is best known for his starring role in “Bridesmaids,” the HBO/BBC series “Family Tree” and his appearance in Lena Dunham’s “Girls.” His theater credits include the Druid production of “The Playboy of the Western World” directed by Garry Hynes.
The casting of Franco and O’Dowd continues the trend on Broadway of attracting audiences – especially to non razzle-dazzle musical productions – by getting big name movie stars to headline.