Zach Braff, Brooks Ashmanskas, Betsy Wolfe, Vincent Pastore Set for Bullets Over Broadway, Opening in April 2014

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27 Jun 2013

Zach Braff
Zach Braff
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Zach Braff will make his Broadway musical debut as a playwright with the chance of a lifetime in the new stage adaptation of Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway.

Braff ("Scrubs," "Garden State") appeared Off-Broadway in Trust and also authored the play All New People, which premiered at Second Stage Theatre in 2011. He will portray playwright David Shayne, who finds out that his play is getting the Broadway treatment thanks to a wealthy gangster who has taken a sudden interest in producing.

The cast will also feature Brooks Ashmanskas (Promises, Promises; Present Laughter) as Warner Purcell, Betsy Wolfe (Last Five Years, Drood) as Ellen, Lenny Wolpe (The Drowsy Chaperone) as Julian Marx, Hélene Yorke (Grease) as Olive Neal and "Sopranos" actor Vincent Pastore as gangster Nick Valenti.

Additional casting, including the role of actress Helen Sinclair (originated on screen by Dianne Wiest), will be announced at a later date.

Five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Scottsboro Boys, The Producers, Contact) directs and choreographs the musical that has been adapted by Allen from his 1994 film, which he co-wrote with Douglas McGrath. The musical incorporates pre-existing songs from the 1920's and 1930's for its score.



Bullets Over Broadway will begin previews March 11, 2014, towards an April 10 opening night at the St. James Theatre. Letty Aronson and Julian Schlossberg are producing the musical.

The design team will include Tony Award winners Santo Loquasto (scenic design), William Ivey Long (costume design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Glen Kelly (musical arrangements and supervision), Doug Besterman (orchestrations) and Peter Hylenski (sound design).

"Bullets Over Broadway" centers on an aspiring playwright who finds out that his play God of Our Fathers is getting the Broadway treatment thanks to a wealthy gangster who has taken a sudden interest in producing. The only snag is that his dim-witted moll has to star in one of the leading roles. Thrown into the mix are a mafia thug with a real knack for playwrighting and a theatrical grand dame who gives Norma Desmond a run for her money.

The original film starred John Cusack as playwright David Shayne, Wiest as actress Helen Sinclair, Chaz Palminteri as mobster Cheech and Jennifer Tilly as mob doll Olive Neal. Wiest earned an Academy Award for her performance. Allen's screenplay was Oscar-nominated.

Allen's numerous films include "Annie Hall," "Manhattan," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Husbands and Wives," "Love and Death," "Stardust Memories," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and many more (about one a year since the 1970s). His plays include Don't Drink the Water (1966), Death Knocks (1968), Play It Again, Sam (1969), Death (1975), God (1975), The Query (1976), My Apology (1980), The Floating Light Bulb (1981), Death Defying Acts (1995), Writer's Block (2003) and A Second Hand Memory (2004).