First-Timers! Over 20 Broadway Debuts to Watch Out For This Fall

News   First-Timers! Over 20 Broadway Debuts to Watch Out For This Fall With the fall Broadway season in full swing, we take a look at over 20 artists who made (or will make) their Main Stem debuts this season. From the young stars of Deaf West's revival of Spring Awakening to television stars and Oscar and Golden Globe winners, we guide our readers through a handful of Broadway newbies. Check out who is taking on the Great White Way for the first time.

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Sandra Mae Frank, Austin P. McKenzie, Daniel N. Durant and Marlee Matlin in Spring Awakening

Sandra Mae Frank, Austin P. McKenzie, Daniel N. Durant and Marlee Matlin are all making their Broadway debuts in Deaf West's revival of Spring Awakening (along with a handful of others from the show's young ensemble). Frank and Durant have both appeared on the ABC Family drama "Switched at Birth." McKenzie will star as Howie in the 2016 film adaptation of Stephen Karam's Speech & Debate. Matlin is an Academy Award-winning actress who has appeared in "Children of a Lesser God," "Switched at Birth," "The L Word" and more. Frank, McKenzie and Durant have been attached to all incarnations of the Deaf West revival while Matlin joined the cast when the show made the leap to Broadway. Click here to read about the young Deaf stars of Spring Awakening.

<i>Spring Awakening</i>
Spring Awakening Photo by Joan Marcus

Phillipa Soo, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Anthony Ramos and Daveed Diggs in Hamilton

Phillipa Soo, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Anthony Ramos and Daveed Diggs are all making their Broadway debuts in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton. Soo stars as Hamilton's wife, Eliza. Jones, Ramos and Diggs all take on double duty as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, John Laurens/Philip Hamilton and Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, respectively. Soo has performed in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and "Smash." Jones is a member of the LAByrinth Theater Company. Ramos has been featured in Sideways Stories from Wayside School and Uncle Tom's Cabin in Philadelphia. Diggs has performed in such films as "The Industry," "Rockstar" and more. All four actors starred in Hamilton's Off-Broadway run at the Public Theater. Click here to read an interview with Hamilton's Schuyler sisters.

The cast of <i>Hamilton</i>
The cast of Hamilton Photo by Joan Marcus

Keira Knightley in Thérèse Raquin

Keira Knightley makes her Broadway debut as the titular character in Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Thérèse Raquin. Knightley is an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Olivier nominee. She has starred in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series as well as "The Imitation Game," "Pride & Prejudice" and many others. Knightley's prior stage credits include The Misanthrope and The Children's Hour, both at the Comedy Theatre in London. Click here to read why Knightley says she never wants to be in a Broadway musical.

Keira Knightley and Judith Light in <i>Thérèse Raquin</i>
Keira Knightley and Judith Light in Thérèse Raquin Photo by Joan Marcus

Bruce Willis in Misery

Golden Globe Award winner Bruce Willis makes his Broadway debut as an author who meets an unfortunate fate in the stage adaptation of Stephen King's "Misery." The thriller also stars Broadway veteran Laurie Metcalf as crazed fan Annie Wilkes. Willis is known for such films as "Moonrise Kingdom," "The Sixth Sense," "Pulp Fiction" and more. His daughter Rumer also makes her Broadway debut this season as Roxie Hart in Chicago. Click here to read about how Willis turned down the starring role in a film in order to make his Broadway debut.

Bruce Willis in <i>Misery</i>
Bruce Willis in Misery Photo by Joan Marcus

Clive Owen in Old Times

Golden Globe winner Clive Owen makes his Broadway debut as Deeley in Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Harold Pinter's Old Times. Owen is known for his performances in "The Knick," "Closer," "Children of Men" and more. His co-star Kelly Reilly is also performing on Broadway for the first time. Click here to read Owen's thoughts on making his Broadway debut

Clive Owen in <i>Old Times</i>
Clive Owen in Old Times Photo by Joan Marcus

Jennifer Hudson, Danielle Brooks and Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple

Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson makes her Broadway debut alongside "Orange is the New Black" star Danielle Brooks and West End actress Cynthia Erivo. Hudson, who will portray Shug Avery, starred as Effie Melody White in the 2006 film adaptation of "Dreamgirls." Brooks, who will play Sofia, stars as Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson on "Orange is the New Black." Erivo played the role of Celie in 2013 and will be reprising her role in this revival. Click here to read Hudson, Brooks and Erivo's thoughts on making their debuts in such a powerful show

Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson and Danielle Brooks in <i>The Color Purple</i>
Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson and Danielle Brooks in The Color Purple

Evie Dolan, Carly Gendell, Bobbie MacKenzie, Dante Melucci, Brandon Niederauer and Isabella Russo in School of Rock – The Musical

Evie Dolan, Carly Gendell, Bobbie MacKenzie, Dante Melucci, Brandon Niederauer and Isabella Russo make their Broadway debuts as the child stars of School of Rock – The Musical. Dolan will appear as Katie, the bass player; Gendell as Marcy; MacKenzie as Tomika, a singer; Melucci as Freddy, the drummer; Niederauer as Zack, the lead guitarist; and Russo as Summer, the manager.

Cast of <i>The School of Rock</i>
Cast of The School of Rock Photo by Monica Simoes

Danny Gardner in Dames at Sea

Danny Gardner makes his Broadway debut (and shows off his tapping skills) as Lucky, a sailor, in Dames at Sea. He has performed in the touring casts of White Christmas, Here to Stay – The Gershwin Experience and 42nd Street. Gardner also appeared as Dick Trevor in Lady, Be Good!, starring Tommy Tune, at City Center.

Mara Davi and Danny Gardner in <i>Dames at Sea</i>
Mara Davi and Danny Gardner in Dames at Sea Photo by Jeremy Daniel

George Takei in Allegiance

"Star Trek" star George Takei makes his Broadway debut in Allegiance, a new musical inspired by his own life experiences. Takei is an activist for LGBTQ rights and was the 2014 recipient of the GLAAD Media Vito Russo Award. He has guest starred on such television programs as "The Neighbors," "Archer," "The Simpsons" and more. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

George Takei and Lea Salonga in <i>Allegiance</i>
George Takei and Lea Salonga in Allegiance Matthew Murphy

Richard Goulding, Anthony Calf, Lydia Wilson and Tafline Steen in King Charles III

British actors Richard Goulding, Anthony Calf, Lydia Wilson and Tafline Steen make their Broadway debuts in King Charles III. Goulding stars as Prince Harry, Calf as Mr. Stevens, Wilson as Kate and Steen as Jess. Goulding, Wilson and Steen appeared in the original run of King Charles III at London's Almeida Theatre. Goulding has also starred in Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Seagull and has appeared in such films as "The Iron Lady" and "Me Before You." Calf can be seen as D.A.C. Robert Strickland on BBC's "New Tricks." Wilson will appear in the upcoming film "Star Trek Beyond." Steen has performed in such shows as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Cast members Nyasha HatendiMargot LeicesterMiles RichardsonTom Robertson, Sally ScottLucas HallRachel Spencer Hewitt and Harry Smith also make their Broadway debuts in the production.

Oliver Chris, Tafline Steen, Richard Goulding, Nyasha Hatendi, Tom Robertson, Sally Scott, Lydia Wilson, Miles Richardson, Anthony Calf, Tim Pigott-Smith, Margot Leicester and Adam James in <i>King Charles III</i>
Oliver Chris, Tafline Steen, Richard Goulding, Nyasha Hatendi, Tom Robertson, Sally Scott, Lydia Wilson, Miles Richardson, Anthony Calf, Tim Pigott-Smith, Margot Leicester and Adam James in King Charles III Photo by Joan Marcus

Ana Villafañe in On Your Feet!

Ana Villafañe makes her Broadway debut playing Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan in the bio-musical On Your Feet! Villafañe heard about an open casting call for the musical and, while she was unable to attend, submitted a video of herself performing and went on to snag the role. She has appeared on such television programs as "South Beach" and "Rizzoli and Isles," and stars in the upcoming film "Max Steel." Click here to read Villafañe's thoughts on making her Broadway debut and portraying the iconic performer

Ana Villafañe in <i>On Your Feet!</i>
Ana Villafañe in On Your Feet! Photo by Matthew Murphy

Ivo Van Hove directing A View from the Bridge and The Crucible

Belgian theatre director Ivo Van Hove makes his Broadway directing debut on both A View From the Bridge, currently in previews, and The Crucible, which begins performances Feb. 29, 2016. Van Hove has directed such Off-Broadway productions as Antigone, The Mistanthrope, Hedda Gabler and more. He also serves as artistic director for Dutch theatre group Toneelgroep Amsterdam.

Mark Strong and cast in <i>View from the Bridge</i>
Mark Strong and cast in View from the Bridge Photo by Jan Versweyveld
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