It’s a huge weekend for In The Wings as today marks the 68th Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman. Hugh has become well known in the theatre world, being a two time Tony winner and three time (soon to be four) Tony Host. Hugh started performing on the stage at a young age and has not only established a film career for himself, but a well-respected stage career as well. However, Hugh is not the only film actor who is a theatre pro.
If there is ever a respected actress, it is Dame Julie Andrews. On the eve of Julie’s 19th birthday, she made her broadway debut, playing Polly Browne in The Boy Friend, however, this was not Julie’s first stage role. She appeared as the main princess in Aladdin, in London’s West End. Towards the end of her contract with The Boy Friend, she was asked to audition for the role of Eliza Doolittle for Broadway’s My Fair Lady. She won the part for the stage version, but not the film version. Coincidentally, both the film versions of Mary Poppins and My Fairy Lady were released at the same time, and Julie would end up winning the Best Actress Oscar over Audrey Hepburn. Studio head Jack Warner felt Julie did not hold the same famous name that Hepburn did, thus often replacing Julie in roles she had already been cast in, with Hepburn. Other shows Julie has starred in include Victor/Victoria, Cinderella, Camelot, and Putting It Together.
While his stage career may have only started within the past few years, Daniel has most certainly made a name for himself amongst theatre people. Luckily, Daniel, due to his talent, will not be known simply for playing a certain boy wizard for the rest of his life. Since 2007, Daniel has appeared in Equus, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Cripple of Inishmaan. Many have commented on Daniel’s natural stage presence, and they also feel he was robbed of nominations for How to Succeed in Business and The Cripple of Inishmaan. Daniel has proven himself capable of being able to juggle his film and stage works and it’s pretty evident that his career is on the rise.
Judi Dench is a well-respected stage actress, one of the most revered of her time. In 1957, Dench made her professional debut with the Old Vic Company. Over the next few years, she starred in several Shakespearian plays, including roles as Ophelia, Juliet and Lady Macbeth. She’s worked for the National Theatre Company, as well as the Royal Shakespeare Company and has won seven Laurence Olivier Awards, and a Tony. Judi has also performed at Stratford-Upon-Avon and on Broadway. Other shows include A Little Night Music, The Cherry Orchard, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives, Hay Fever, and more.
Some of Branagh’s biggest work has been on the stage, receiving some of his largest acclaim. Mainly known for his Shakesperian work, Branagh became a major presence amongst the media when he, along with several other well known actors and actresses, participated in a 1988 touring season of three Shakespeare plays. It was during this time he’d meet Emma Thompson. Whilst the majority of the shows Branagh has starred in are by the Bard, his repertoire includes Look Back in Anger (directed by Dame Judi Dench), and Ivanov. He’s is also quite familiar with being the director of shows, most recently directing (along with Rob Ashford) Macbeth, starring Doctor Who veteran Alex Kingston and Ray Fearon. The show will moving from Manchester to NYC and will premiere this month, marking Branagh’s NYC debut.
The voice of Darth Vader himself has won two Tony awards, including one in 1969 for his performance in The Great White Hope, and one for Fences, in 1987. James is a versaitaille stage actor, staring in shows ranging from Othello, King Lear and Hamlet, to On Golden Pond and A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. It is, amongst other things, James’ trademark voice that attracts audiences to shows he is starring in. He’s appeared on stage with other famed actors, including Vanessa Redgrave, Leslie Uggams and Phlicia Rashad (a.k.a Claire Huxtable). When Jones was starring in the London transfer of Driving Miss Daisy, Ben Kingsley presented him with his honorary Oscar in front of the audience at the Wyndham’s Theatre.
There are numerous celebrities who have appeared on stage, along with starring in films. Other theatre veterans include Katherine Hepburn, Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Angela Lansbury, Scarlett Johansson and more. You never know who may pop up on the stage in front of you.