Sunday Reads: Broderick Brings It

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It’s no surprise that perpetually boyish Matthew Broderick is passionate about his work. Acting and entertaining is like putting on an old comfortable shoe for the veteran showman, in part because it’s a family business—his mother was a playwright and screenwriter; his father, an actor. With Broadway’s It’s Only a Play and two wrapped films under his belt—a Neil LaBute screenplay called A Dirty Weekend and an unnamed film by Warren Beatty—it serves up to a very full plate, though one that he seems happy to have. But with the play’s run ending in mid-June, he’s ready for some downtime. “What I really want is the summer off, and then to have a nice job when the kids get back to school,” he says. “The thing about performing on Broadway is I’m away when the kids go to sleep, so the summer is a great time to reconnect with my family.” Family time is fast approaching for Broderick, who counts two Emmys and is American’s darling of stage and screen—audiences can’t get enough of him.

Broderick’s latest gig, It’s Only A Play, is a Terrence McNally revival of the 1983 screenplay, adapted and updated to reflect current pop-culture figures. The play reunites Broderick with Nathan Lane, who together form the irresistible comedic duo audiences keep buying tickets to see—so much so that It’s Only A Play is on an extended run (Martin Short filled in for Lane who decamped for a few months to perform in The Iceman Cometh). Stockard Channing, Megan Mullally and F. Murray Abraham are also part of the play’s ensemble troupe.

“Nathan and I are two fairly different performers who like each other and drive each other crazy—or happy—or something!” he says with a laugh when asked about their chemistry. “I’m the playwright, Peter Austin, and I’m anxiously awaiting a New York Times critic’s review of the play along with the rest of the cast,” he says of the play’s plot. “Terrence said he watched this very thing happen once and the bad reviews tore the cast apart,” he says, revealing the inspiration behind the 74-year-old playwright’s story.

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