Can’t get enough of Aaron Tveit? Not to worry. Tveit is among the many talented Broadway actors who have made the transition from the Broadway stage to Hollywood or a television studio backlot.
The silver screen both large and small has a long tradition of welcoming stage actors with open arms. After all, most actors in early films and TV began their careers on stage. Before TV existed, the country’s superstars were almost entirely products of the Great White Way.
It makes sense that such a deeply-rooted bond between the two art forms has continued its legacy. The past few years have been especially good to Broadway and the theatre world. Many of the best-loved personalities from Broadway have now appeared in the living rooms of people all around the country, thanks to popular shows like Glee and Smash that celebrate and explore the lives of theatrical performers. Both shows are also well known for featuring guest stars who are major Broadway figures in their own right.
Here are just a few places where you can find some of your favorite Broadway performers on the tube every week. Happy watching!
Aaron Tveit – Graceland. Tveit stole audiences’ hearts in Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can and then smashed them into bits as the passionate revolutionary Enjolras in the 2012 Les Miserables film. Fans could not be more happy that he is taking his considerable talents to USA’s upcoming crime drama about a ragtag group of Federal Agents all confined to a safehouse in Florida.
Andrew Rannells – The New Normal. Rannells, formerly Elder Price in The Book of Mormon, is both adorable and hilarious as TV executive Bryan Collins in this NBC comedy. The story follows a gay couple on the road to having their first child and is roughly based on the experiences of Glee’s executive producer Ryan Murphy. BONUS: Fans can also catch Rannells as Hannah Horvath’s gay ex in past episodes of HBO’s Girls.
Josh Gad – 1600 Penn. Though he began his Broadway career with a stint in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Gad most recently charmed audiences as the lovable screw-up missionary Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon. Mormon fans will be pleased to find that his character on NBC’s 1600 Penn is fairly similar to Cunningham; only this time, instead of Uganda, the shenanigans all take place in the White House. Yup, it’s a pretty rad show.
Pretty Much Everyone On Smash. It is no surprise that a show about Broadway professionals is filled to the brim with, well – Broadway professionals. From Megan Hilty (Wicked, 9 to 5) to Wesley Taylor (Addams Family, Rock of Ages), to Jeremy Jordan (Rock of Ages, Newsies) and Christian Borle (Legally Blonde, Peter and the Starcatcher), it is difficult to find someone in the cast who has not had a Broadway run. Basically, Broadway fans should probably be watching this show if they are not already.
Audra McDonald, Jesse L. Martin, and More – Law and Order. Law and Order is a great show for playing a little game called, “Find that Broadway star!” Usually, observant viewers can find them in a bit part as a judge, suspect, or murdered prostitute – it makes a fun game for audiences, and guest-starring is the perfect way for a busy stage actor to score a little screen time without committing to an extended run on television.
Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele, Jenna Ushkowitz, Melissa Benoist – Glee. This is sort of the same deal as Smash, cast-wise. Everyone knows that Glee is a show about a group of young, aspiring performers, so the fact that their featured cast fits the same description has given the show an authenticity that definitely contributes to its success and allows viewers to identify with the young protoganists.
Tveit on Graceland is just the latest in a long string of performers moving from the stage to the screen. Who do you think is next? Who do you want to be next? Let us know in the comments.