Throughout its long and rich history, Hollywood has seen many talented actors and actresses cross over from the silver screen to the theater stage. Apart from exhibiting unique performances that audiences may not normally expect from them, these artists are able to further develop their craft. One of Tinseltown’s major leading men who will make this transition is Chris Evans.
The Hollywood Reporter claims that the 36-year-old actor will be making his very first Broadway appearance in March 2018, starring in Lobby Hero, written by film auteur and playwright Kenneth Lonergan. This year, the writer earned a win for Best Original Screenplay at the 89th Academy Awards for Manchester by the Sea. Lobby Hero will be directed by Trip Cullman and the cast includes Michael Cera and Brian Tyree Henry.
The story revolves around a murder investigation in the lobby of a Manhattan apartment building. A passionate police officer (played by Evans) and his partner cross paths with young security guard (played by Cera) along with his uncompromising boss. Similar to themes that Lonergan has tackled in his previous work, the play examines how a series of events can unfold when emotions come crashing into established principles and ideals. The show is slated to open on March 2018 at the newly renovated Helen Hayes Theater located in midtown Manhattan and is set to kick off The Second Stage Theater’s inaugural Broadway season.
This move by Evans is very different from his recent onscreen performances. Evans is now most famous for his role as Steve Rodgers, better known as Marvel’s Captain America. His portrayal of America’s favorite patriotic superhero has been a big hit for audiences around the world and has translated to massive box office numbers.
His first film as the superhero was in Captain America: The First Avenger, which according to Box Office Mojo made approximately $370 million worldwide. In 2014, Captain America: The Winter Soldier racked up a whopping $714.3 million worldwide, while the latest installment, Captain America: Civil War, took in $1.153 billion globally. Needless to say, the stand-alone Captain America series has appealed to different audiences around the world. The success of the franchise has a lot to do with Evans’ acclaimed portrayal of the character.
In many ways, Evans has helped drive the comic book mythology into the consciousness of the public, which has manifested itself into different multimedia platforms. Proof of this is the wide-reaching superhero presence in the digital space. In the online gaming landscape, digital games provider Slingo, offers an array of comic-book inspired titles, notably “Hellboy” and “Thunderstruck,” which have effectively integrated these famous character archetypes into the design and gameplay. Similar to how film production companies and game developers have expanded the comic book genre, Evans aims to bring his acting career to the new frontier. However, he isn’t the only Avenger who has taken his acting chops to the stage.
American actor Mark Ruffalo, known to many Marvel fans as The Incredible Hulk, has been featured in a couple of Broadway plays, most recently taking on the lead in Arthur Miller’s The Price. The New York Times wrote in an article on The Price, that the play discusses themes that focus on “familial obligation and money in 1968 New York City.” Ruffalo plays a career police officer who has been ostracized by his department due to his lack of participation in departmental politics. But as far as Ruffalo is concerned, he sees the message the show tries to put across: “The play talks about not being honest about the past,” he says. “But it’s just like now: Who is telling the truth? Which version do you believe in?” Beyond the mainstream acclaim, it’s refreshing to know that actors such Evans and Ruffalo continue to value theatre.
Lobby Hero opens March 26th, 2018 at Helen Hayes Theatre located at 240 West 44th Street New York, NY 10019. Previews begin March 1st 2018. For more information please click here