Lately it seems the New York theater world cannot stage a show without Hollywood stars attached, and the trend continues as this season's new plays and musicals launch. Certainly Jude Law's marquee value helps keep Hamlet alive and it signals a big name can fill the house.
The week of November 25, several new shows open or go into previews for the holidays and several A-list actors will take the stage for the first time:
Catherine Zeta-Jones ( Chicago) joins legendary Angela Lansbury in Stephen Sondheim's Smiles of a Summer Night, based on Ingmar Bergman's film.
Sweden's Liv Ullman directs Cate Blanchett ( The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) as Blanche DuBois in Tennessee William's iconic A Streetcar Named Desire.
James Spader ( Boston Legal) and Kerry Washington ( Ray, The Last King of Scotland) are directed by David Mamet in the world premiere of his new play, Race.
Sienna Miller ( G.I. Joe) headlines After Miss Julie.
Matthew Broderick performs in The Starry Messenger.
And on December 28, Scarlett Johansson ( Lost in Translation) and Liev Schreiber ( X-Men Origins: Wolverine) star in Arthur Miller's 1955 classic, A View from the Bridge.
Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, with rapper Jay-Z take on the role of producer with Fela!, a musical portrait of Nigerian political activist and Afrobeat performer, created by Tony-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones.
January and February 2010 bring more actors from Hollywood's big screen to New York's stages, including Alicia Silverstone, Abigail Breslin and Ethan Hawke, as well as directors Sam Mendes ( Revolutionary Road) and Julie Taymor ( Across the Universe) with Spider-Man.