Shia LaBeouf will make his Broadway debut in the upcoming Rialto production of 1983 play “Orphans,” joining a cast that already includes Alec Baldwin. Previews March 19 ahead of an April 7 opening at the Schoenfeld Theater.
LaBeouf becomes the latest film name to land on the Main Stem this season, joining a roster that currently includes Jessica Chastain (“The Heiress”), Katie Holmes (“Dead Accounts”), Paul Rudd (“Grace”) and Al Pacino (“Glengarry”), with Scarlett Johansson (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”) and Tom Hanks (“Lucky Guy”) waiting in the wings for stage gigs later this season.
LaBeouf, recently seen alongside Tom Hardy and Chastain in John Hillcoat’s pic “Lawless,” will play Treat, the oldest of two orphans in Lyle Kessler’s three-character play. Baldwin is onboard as the rich man whom Treat kidnaps in the show, to be helmed by Daniel Sullivan (“Glengarry”).
Producers Frederick Zollo and Robert Cole have made a habit of collaborating on star-driven plays, including the Hugh Jackman-Daniel Craig starrer “A Steady Rain,” which proved a boffo seller in 2009, and the 2011 outing “That Championship Season” with a cast that included Kiefer Sutherland. The latter garnered less attention at the B.O. than “Steady Rain” but did manage to recoup just prior to closing.
Few actors have the B.O. power that Jackman and Craig evinced in “Steady Rain,” or that Pacino currently demonstrates with the big-money receipts at “Glengarry.” Still, a familiar name does seem to help keep many plays — traditionally overshadowed for tourist auds by razzle-dazzle tuners — relatively healthy. Chastain and “Downton Abbey” star Dan Stevens seem likely to account for a significant chunk of biz at “Heiress” (currently the second bestselling play on the boards behind “Glengarry”), while “Dead Accounts” has risen every week it’s been running, even if the numbers themselves aren’t unspectacular.
Baldwin’s been on Broadway before (most recently in “On the Twentieth Century” in 2004), but not since the start of his attention-getting run in “30 Rock.” One more thesp remains to be set for “Orphans.”