In celebration of opening night, the production will be featured on Branded Cities' digital Times Square billboard on the Thomson Reuters building. From 5:30-10:30 PM EST, the billboard will feature Broadway audience engagement by live-streaming select selfies and photos taken by fans of the production that night, using the hashtag #ItsOnlyASelfie.
"I'd call this a real revision," author McNally told Playbill.com about his play, which premiered in New York in 1986 at the Manhattan Theatre Club. "It's a chance to tell the same story 25 years later, and Broadway as an industry — as a community — has changed hugely over those 25 years, and I wanted to reflect that. I didn't want to make this a revival… and it just flew out of me — the new stuff. I had a chance to make it fresh, and I jumped at it."
The play stars "Harry Potter" actor Grint as young director Frank Finger, Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham as critic Ira Drew, Tony Award winner Broderick as playwright Peter Austin, Tony Award winner Channing as actress Virginia Noyes, Tony Award winner Lane as television star James Wicker, Emmy Award winner Mullally as producer Julia Budder and Micah Stock as the wide-eyed Gus P. Head.
Click here to read whether or not the starry cast of It's Only a Play read their own reviews. McNally admitted, "Well, we're very lucky. We sent the script to these people. Everyone of them is our first choice — that doesn't happen too often, and everybody said yes very quickly, so the show was cast in about 24-48 hours, with the exception of Rupert Grint because he was on-location, and his script was sent on the Internet, and there was no Wi-Fi reception where he was filming, so it took three or four days to get a yes from him. They responded to the script, and I think they all wanted to work with Jack O'Brien, too."
Tony Award winner O'Brien helms the production, which began previews Aug. 28 at Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld (236 West 45th Street).
In It's Only a Play, according to producers Tom Kirdahy, Roy Furman and Ken Davenport, "it's opening night of Peter Austin's (Broderick) new play as he anxiously awaits to see if his show is a hit. With his career on the line, he shares his big First Night with his best friend, a television star (Lane), his fledgling producer (Mullally), his erratic leading lady (Channing), his wunderkind director (Grint), an infamous drama critic, and a wide-eyed coat check attendant on his first night in Manhattan. It’s alternately raucous, ridiculous and tender — reminding audiences why there’s no business like show business. Thank God!"
Lane and Broderick co-starred in the Tony-winning hit musical The Producers, for which Lane won a 2001 Tony Award. Lane is also a Tony winner for A Funny Thing Happened…, and Broderick is a Tony winner for How to Succeed… and Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Channing is a Tony winner for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. Abraham is an Academy Award winner for "Amadeus," and Mullally is best known for her Emmy-winning work on "Will & Grace."
Four-time Tony Award-winning playwright McNally recently celebrated the premiere of his 20th Broadway production, Mothers and Sons, which marks his 50th year on Broadway.
It's Only A Play is produced on Broadway by Tom Kirdahy, Roy Furman, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Morris Berchard and Susan Dietz, Caiola Productions, Carl Daikeler, Jim Fantaci, Wendy Federman, Barbara Freitag and Loraine Alterman Boyle, Hugh Hayes, Jim Herbert, Ricardo F. Hornos, Stephanie Kramer, LAMS Productions, Scott Landis, Mark Lee and Ed Filipowski, Harold Newman, Roy Putrino, Sanford Robertson, Tom Smedes and Peter Stern, and Brian Cromwell Smith.
Tickets for It's Only a Play are available by visiting Telecharge.com. For groups of 20 or more, call (855) 329-2932.